India: e-invoice delayed to 1 October 2020
It was announced in 2019 that e-invoicing would become mandatory in India. The first phase of e-invoicing was to begin on 1 April 2020.
On 14 March 2020, the GST council announced the implementation of e-invoicing and QR codes on invoices will be postponed for 6 months. The new date for the introduction of mandatory e-invoicing is 1 October 2020.
The reasoning behind the 6 month delay
Below are some of the reasons that led to the 6 month delay:
- The required infrastructure was not deployed to production in time;
- Lack of voluntary adoption of the central upload service during the voluntary trial period (this began on 1 January 2020) by businesses with revenue exceeding 100 crore;
- Load testing of the system would not have been performed by 1 April 2020; and
- Businesses were left with very little time to adopt the new invoice schema.
Other decisions that were made on 14 March 2020 include:
- The deadline for the e-wallet scheme is postponed until 31 March 2021;
- The introduction of the new GST return is deferred to 1 October 2020; and
- Certain categories of taxpayers (including financial institutions, banks, insurance companies, non-banking financial institutions and passenger transportation services) are exempt from issuing e-invoices and generating QR codes.
The introduction of mandatory e-invoicing hopes to bring consistency and uniformity and to put an end to data errors and in turn, reducing tax evasion in India.