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Govt likely to defer implementation of e-invoicing under GST till July - Posted on: 2020-03-10

The government is planning to defer the implementation of e-invoicing under goods and services tax (GST) after getting a lukewarm response during trials introduced in January.

Only 1% of registered businesses under the GST regime used e-invoices on the GST Network (GSTN).

The Goods and Services Tax Council (GSTC) has been considering it and may defer the implementation of e-invoicing till July 1, said an ET report quoting government officials.

The government is also looking for feedback from the companies to correct the shortcomings of the system before it becomes mandatory.

“If only a few companies upload e-invoices now, we will not know the shortcomings of the system,” added the report.

The GSTC will meet with stakeholders and the states to discuss the proposal on Saturday.

The development comes after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pulled up GSTN executives and technology provider Infosys for not being able to resolve tech issues at a GSTN meeting last week.

The framework will let e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart to upload e-invoices for suppliers under the GST framework. The GST framework will help e-comm firm keep track of suppliers.

The process of e-invoicing is under trial and could be allowed once it is over.

The clarification will also go a long way in removing ambiguities such as no requirement of invoice registration portal validation for delivery challans and bill of supply.

Last year in September, the GST Council had given nod to the introduction of e-invoicing for business to business (B2B) transactions from January 1, 2020. The e-invoice system of uploading invoices on government portal will be mandatorily rolled out for companies with turnover over Rs 100 crore from April 1.

E-invoicing, once implemented, promises to simplify compliance, indirect tax system as well as help curb tax evasion as it enables pre-populating GST returns with the e-invoice details.

However, Industry observers had cautioned that e-invoicing implementation would add an additional compliance layer and require an update of the accounting software.

Offline retailers have often alleged e-commerce like Flipkart, Amazon to have caused huge GST loss to the government by selling goods at discount rates.