QR CODE – A TRANSITION IN GST

QR CODE – A TRANSITION IN GST

The implementation of QR Code for GST invoices directs a strong action from the Government to fight against malpractices in GST. At the same time, it is an initiative pointed towards achievement of ‘Digital Economy’.
While the implementation of QR Code has its own benefits, for the department as well as for the customers, there are lot of confusions among the business community.

In this article we are discussing about the requirement of QR Code, types of QR Code and its applicability to the registered persons

What is a QR Code?

QR Code or Quick Response Code is a ‘pictorial code’ which when scanned using suitable apps, will provide the details of the invoice. It is a technology widely used nowadays. Once the QR code is scanned using a mobile (with QR Scanner app), the complete information regarding the invoice (invoice no, item supplied, value etc.) will be displayed.

Why do we need QR Code?

Implementation of QR Code system will help all the three stakeholders in GST i.e,

  • The supplier of goods / services;
  • The recipient of goods / services (the customer);
  • The department authorities.

The supplier can easily carry the entire information relating to the invoice, and can transmit the invoice details by e-mail, messaging apps etc.

The recipient of the goods (customer) can verify the details of the invoice, including the amount payable, easily by scanning the QR code by a mobile.

The department can ease the verification & inspection process merely with the help of a handheld mobile / electronic devices.

Types of QR codes in GST regime.

From GST perspective, the law prescribes two type of QR Codes –

  • QR Code along with the e-invoices (applicable for B2B invoices)
  • QR Code displayed in the original tax invoice / bill of supply (for B2C invoices)
Category 1: QR Code generated with the e-invoices

As you are aware, the Government has introduced ‘e-invoice system’ for registered tax payers crossing certain thresholds. Such e-invoices are to be generated through the separate portal notified by the Government. At present, the e-invoice requirement is applicable only for B2B invoices and export invoices, including Credit & Debit Notes for these invoices.

All such e-invoices generated shall contain a QR Code information, which will be transmitted along with the e-invoice.

In order to generate the e-invoice, the registered persons shall fill up the Form GST INV-01 on Invoice Registration Portal (IRP) and upon obtaining Invoice Reference Number (IRN). The Portal will also return a QR Code which contains key particulars of the invoice including IRN.

The law prescribes that the IRN need not be printed on the invoice, however, the QR code generated by IRP shall be printed on the invoice issued to the buyer.

Thus, all e-invoices will have an IRP generated QR Code on B2B & Export Invoices, Credit & Debit Notes.

Readers may note that the requirement of E-invoice (which includes IRP generated QR Code) is made mandatory for registered persons with aggregate turnover of Rs. 50 crores or more (in any of the financial years since FY 2017-18) for B2B and export transactions w.e.f 1-Apr-2021. [Notification No. 05/2021-Central Tax dated 08.03.2021]

Category 2: Dynamic QR Code  (for B2C invoices / Bill of Supply)

This is a special type of QR Code applicable to B2C customers. If these provisions are applicable, the invoice / bill of supply issued to the B2C customers shall contain a specific QR Code, which shall contain all the information relating to the invoice.

[Rule 46 (Tax Invoice) and Rule 49 (Bill of Supply) of CGST Rules, 2017 were amended vide Notification No. 31/2019 – Central Tax dated 28.06.2019]

Who is liable for Dynamic QR Code?

It is applicable for all registered persons with aggregate turnover of more than Rs. 500 Crores in any financial year since FY 2017-18. The B2C invoices / bill of supplies issued by such entities shall contain a Dynamic QR Code.

It was also specified that a Dynamic QR code made available to buyer through digital display (with payment cross-reference) shall be deemed to be having QR code.

In this case, the QR Code is generated by supplier himself, using QR Code generation softwares / equipments.

The provisions of QR Code was applicable from 01-12-2020. However, the provision of imposing penalty for non-compliance was extended to 31-03-2021 and thereafter it was deferred to 01-07-2021.

Thus, Dynamic QR Code is applicable only if the supplies are made to unregistered persons.

Why Dynamic QR Code?

Upon understanding the structure of the provisions, we can infer that the Government want to encourage digital payment system for all B2C transactions. It will ensure that the payments are passed through the bank account of the seller, which will make possibility of any malpractice difficult. The customers can easily make the payments, by scanning the QR code using mobile and make payments through mobile wallets.

How is it different from the QR Codes presently displayed?

At present, many businesses display QR codes at the payment counters. However, these are static QR Codes which can only provide the details of the business entity. The details of invoices will not be displayed.

However, once dynamic QR code is displayed, the entire invoice details will be displayed. The customers can verify the invoice details, amounts etc and make the payment at one shot.

Any alternative to implementation of Dynamic QR Code?

Yes. The notification say, the requirement of Dynamic QR Code shall be deemed to have been complied in the following situations –

  • The customer pays through credit/debit card or through UPI, and the supplier provides a cross-reference of these payment details on the invoice, such as the transaction ID, date, time, amount, and mode of payment.
  • The customer pays with cash, and the supplier provides a cross-reference of the date and amount details on the invoice.
Contents of Dynamic QR Code

The Dynamic QR code should contain the following;

  • Supplier GSTIN number
  • Supplier UPI ID
  • Payee’s Bank A/C number and IFSC
  • Invoice number & invoice date,
  • Total Invoice Value and
  • GST amount with breakup i.e. CGST, SGST, IGST, CESS, etc.
Can you differentiate between Statis QR Code and Dynamic QR Code?

Dynamic QR Codes cannot be differentiated from static QR Codes, in terms of looks. However, the functionality differs drastically. For a dynamic QR Code to function as a dynamic QR Code, a short URL is assigned to the QR Code and separate landing pages are created based on the time, location, and device to be used. These dynamic QR Codes redirect the user to different landing pages based on the protocol set by the user on the dashboard.

Summary of the above Discussion
  • There are two type of QR Code in GST-
  • QR Code generated along with e-invoice using IRP (applicable for B2B & Export Invoices, Credit & Debit Notes)
  • Dynamic QR Code on B2C invoices to be generated by the registered person itself.
  • E-invoice related QR Code is applicable for B2B invoices and export invoices; whereas Dynamic QR Code is applicable for B2C invoices.

For further queries on the above, please contact us at    [email protected]

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