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QR Code stands for Quick Response Code. Concept of QR code was brought in under GST laws through Invoicing Rules of CGST Rules 2017.

For Tax Invoice, Rule 46 of CGST Rules 2017 was amended through CGST Notification 31/2019 to provide that the Government may, by notification, on the recommendations of the Council, and subject to such conditions and restrictions as mentioned therein, specify that the tax invoice shall have Quick Response (QR) code.

For Bill of Supply, Rule 49 of CGST Rules 2017 was amended through CGST Notification 31/2019 to provide that the Government may, by notification, on the recommendations of the Council, and subject to such conditions and restrictions as mentioned therein, specify that the bill of supply shall have Quick Response (QR) code.

Moving forward to these rules, government brought Notification No. 14/2020 dated 21st March, 2020 to provide the appicability conditions and to provide the nature of transactions where QR Code is required on invoices.

As per said notification, an invoice issued by a registered person, whose aggregate turnover in a financial year exceeds five hundred crore rupees, other than those referred to in sub-rules (2), (3), (4) and (4A) of rule 54 of said rules, and registered person referred to in section 14 of the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, to an unregistered person (hereinafter referred to as B2C invoice), shall have Dynamic Quick Response (QR) code.

As per said notification, a registered person having turnover exceeding Rs 500 Crore, is required to print Dynamic QR code on Invoices for Supply to unregisterd persons only.

The turnover of Rs 500 Crore to be checked in any preceding financial year from 2017-18 onwards.

However, followings are the persons exempt from compliance of provisions of QR Code:-

  • Where supplier of services is an:-
    • Insurer
    • Banking Company
    • Financial Institution
    • Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC)
  • Goods Transport Agency
  • Passenger Transport Service Provider
  • Person supplying services by way of admission to exhibition of cinematograph films in multiplex screens
  • Supplier of online information and database access or retrieval services by any person located in a non-taxable territory (i.e. registered person referred to in section 14 of the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017)

Date of Applicability of provisions of QR Code:-

Initially, it was proposed to implement the provisions of QR code w.e.f. 01 April 2020. However, due to COVID-19 pandemic, it was extended to 1st October 2020.

Later on, on the request of Industry participants, the requirement to print QR code was extended w.e.f. 1st December 2020.

Type of Invoices for which QR Code required:-

The said notification no. 14/2020 has been issued within the powers given under Rule 46 only. So, the notification to print QR Code on Invoice is applicable only on TAX INVOICES required to be issued under rule 46 of CGST Rules.

Hence, QR Code not required for :-

  • Invoice-cum-Bill of Supply (issued under Rule 46A of CGST Rules 2017)
  • Bill of Supply (issued under Rule 49 of CGST Rules 2017)
  • Revised Tax Invoice (issued under Rule 53(1) of CGST Rules 2017)

QR Code with further details

Where a registered person makes a Dynamic Quick Response (QR) code available to the recipient through a digital display, such B2C invoice issued by such registered person containing cross-reference of the payment using a Dynamic Quick Response (QR) code, shall be deemed to be having Quick Response (QR) code.

Initial Relaxations

Due to difficulties faced by industry participants in the implementation of provisions of QR Code,  Government has provided a relaxation till 31st March 2021.

In its relaxation, it has waived the penalty leviable under section 125 of CGST Act 2017 for non compliance of provisions of Notification No. 14/2020, subject to the condition that the said person complies with the provisions of the said notification from the 01st day of April, 2021.

Content of QR Code

Government has not provide any information for content of QR Code to be printed under these provisions. However, in the provisions of E-invoice, it has provided an illustrative list of particulars which must be available in QR Code, as given below:

  • GSTIN of Supplier
  • GSTIN of Recipient
  • Invoice number as given by Supplier
  • Date of generation of invoice
  • Invoice value (taxable value and gross tax)
  • Number of line items.
  • HSN Code of main item (the line item having highest taxable value)

It is expected that government will provide a complete list of parameters for QR Code required to be printed as per the provisions of Notification 14/2020.

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