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Quick Guide to GST Bill/ Invoice Numbering

Invoice matching is a unique and critical requirement of the GST regime. Therefore, we can understand that the businesses are worried ab...

Invoice matching is a unique and critical requirement of the GST regime. Therefore, we can understand that the businesses are worried about how to handle GST Bill Numbering under GST regime.
What does the law say about bill numbering?
Before we go in to the details of how to handle certain scenarios in a GST Software, let us briefly discuss what the law wants from the businesses.
The law requires you to maintain continuous numbering for your documents and not repeat the utilized numbers in a financial year. These rules apply to all documents such as Sales Invoice, Credit Notes, and Debit Notes.
However, the law permits you to have a different book series number for different nature of bill or bill of different branches within the state having same GSTIN numbers.
For example, you can have a different book series number for B2B Invoices, B2C Invoices, Invoices for Reverse Charge and so on.
On the other hand, a Head Office in Mumbai and a branch in Pune with the same GSTIN may choose to manage their data centrally or decentralize it. In such a scenario, they should maintain different series numbers for their bill by which they can easily identify the bills. For e.g. Bills in Mumbai can have a series as Mum/001/17-18 and in Pune the series number can be Pun/001/17-18.
To handle the above situations, Tally.ERP 9 users have an option to create different voucher types for different nature of bills and branch billing. Also, you can choose to enter prefix and suffix details for easy identification of bills.
Click here to know more about creating a new voucher type.
Click here to know more about setting up GST Bill Numbering.
Do you need to start fresh numbering for your GST Invoices after July 1?
The law does not mandate this. Therefore, you are free to start the numbering from any number as long as the numbering is continuous and not repeated in the same financial year.
Tally’s GST-ready software is flexible and allows you to choose whether to continue with existing numbering or start fresh numbering from July 1.
However, what is really important to note is that the number has to be continuous. Therefore, you should avoid deletion and insertion.
Instead of deleting bills, you can choose to cancel the bill and issue a new bill with same or revised bill number. Reporting of cancelled bills is required while filing GST returns.
What happens if bills are deleted or inserted?
Let us understand the challenges that you may encounter on deletion of bills, and the things you need to do in order to ensure that your books match the returns that you submitted:
    1. Let us assume you have created Invoice no. 234 and uploaded to GSTN. Signing and filing is still pending. Now if you decide to delete it from your books, then you will need to ensure deletion of the same from the GSTN portal as well. At the same time, you will need to ensure that voucher numbering for the rest of the bills do not change.
    2. You created an invoice, uploaded to GSTN and signed the return. However, the buyer has not accepted the invoice. Subsequently, you deleted this invoice in the books. In such a case, you will have to upload a zero valued invoice showing the amendment of the invoice value, which was uploaded in the previous month.
    3. You created a bill, uploaded it to GSTN and signed the return. Your buyer accepts the sale. Do not delete such bills in the books. You will have to issue a credit note for full value to nullify the effect.
    4. Since you are required to maintain continuous or consecutive numbering, we do not recommend insertion of bills. If you insert a bill in between a series, it will not match with what you report to the department. For example, if you inserted invoice No. 3A between invoice No. 3 and 4, this will increase the count of bills reported.
Notes:
Invoices are matched based on Counterparty GSTIN, Invoice Number and invoice date.
Tax Invoices, debit note, credit note etc. are defined in Central GST act section no. 31 and the rules governing invoices are available on CBEC website
Tally’s GST software, Tally.ERP 9 Release 6 is designed to handle all these capabilities. Visit www.tallysolutions.com/downloads to experience our GST-ready software. Your feedback is important to us. Do post your comments on this blog.

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GST India Gst.Gov.in: Quick Guide to GST Bill/ Invoice Numbering
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