Dawn of New Financial Year! Still confused over Invoice series to follow?

Contributed by: CS Payal Kataria

As per GST Rules, at the onset of every New financial Year, follow unique Invoice Series. On 04/04/2019 GST Portal issued advisory on this matter to spread awareness and also highlighted consequences of not following unique Invoice series.

GST was rolled in the mid of FY 2017-18 and even at the entry of third Financial Year under GST regime, there is ambiguity over Invoice Series to be followed. Let’s remove the ambiguity and understand the concept lucidly. Rule 46 (b) and Rule 49(B) talk about Invoice Series. Below is the extract of Rule 46(b) and Rule 49(b):

Tax Invoice

Extract of Rule 46 (b) of CGST Rules 2017

“A consecutive serial number not exceeding sixteen characters, in one or multiple series, containing alphabets or numerals or special characters- hyphen or dash and slash symbolised as “-” and “/” respectively, and any combination thereof, unique for a financial year;”

Bill of Supply

Extract of Rule 49 (b) of CGST Rules 2017

“A consecutive serial number not exceeding sixteen characters, in one or  multiple series, containing alphabets or numerals or special characters hyphen or dash and slash symbolised as “-” and “/” respectively, and any combination thereof, unique for a financial year;”

Under GST regime, Tax Invoice is to be issued by persons registered under regular scheme and Bill of Supply to be issued by persons registered under Composition scheme and supplying Exempted goods or services or both. Although there is not any objection, if  one/single tax Invoice is issued for both taxable and exempted supplies together, thereby no need to  issue separate Invoice to same recipient for both Taxable and exempted supplies

  • Consecutive Serial Number means successive and next number to be used and there should not be any break and missing number, once particular series is adopted in the beginning of Financial Year. Example: In the beginning of FY 2019-20, First Invoice issued, bearing Invoice No. 0001 then next Invoice to be issued be 0002, 0003, 0004 … and so on. After issuing 0004 one can’t jump to 0009. Don’t forget to keep proper record of cancelled invoices.
  • Not Exceeding Sixteen Characters means total characters used in invoice number, will  be upto16 and it may contain any combination of alphabets or numerals or special characters hypen or dash and slash. Example: Invoice No:  PKA001/2019-20 contains 14 Characters, allowed, Invoice No: PKA0001/09/2019-20 contains 18 character, not allowed
  • One or Multiple series means in the same Financial year one or multiple Invoice series can be used. Example: Mr. A registered person is doing both Export and domestic supplies, he can use separate Invoice series for export and domestic supplies.
  • Unique for Financial year means same series or number cannot be used for next financial year. Example 1: If in financial year 2018-19 Invoice series PKA01 to PKA50 is used and last invoice raised in FY 2018-19 is PKA50 then in next FY 2019-20 Invoice Series PKA01 to PKA50 cannot be used and of course Invoice No. PKA51, PKA52, PKA53 … and so on can be used in next FY i.e FY 2019-20. Example 2: Mr, A registered person started his business on 10th April 2018 and use printed bill book for making Tax invoices, and First Invoice No in bill book is 01 and he used invoice No. 30 till the end of Financial year 2018-19 . Now for next financial year i.e. 2019-20 he can use same bill book and next Invoice No 31 to be used in the Financial year 2019-20. For the financial year 2019-20 he cannot use invoice No. 01, 02, 03, … 30 as these numbers are already used in FY 2018-19

Consequences Highlighted By GST portal

If the provisions of Rule 46 or Rule 49 are not adhered to, apart from being a compliance issue, taxpayers may face problem while generating E-Way Bill on E-way bill system or furnishing their Form GSTR 1 or for applying for refund on GST Portal.

Conclusion: Thus to avoid consequences of not following Rule 46 and 49, better imbibe the correct knowledge of related provisions and do business peacefully.

Disclaimer: The contents of this document are solely for informational purpose. It does not constitute professional advice or recommendation of firm. Neither the authors nor firm and its affiliates accepts any liabilities for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of any information in this document nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
Readers are advised to consult the professional for understanding applicability of this writeup in the respective scenarios. While due care has been taken in preparing this writeup, the existence of mistakes and omissions herein is not ruled out. No part of this writeup should be distributed or copied (except for personal, non-commercial use) without our written permission.

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