Rule of Issuing Invoice in GST, GST Invoice Rules under CGST Act: An invoice does not bring into existence an agreement but merely records the terms of a preexisting agreement (oral or written). An invoice can be understood as a document that is meant to serve a particular purpose. The GST Law requires that an invoice – tax invoice or bill of supply – is issued on the occurrence of certain event, being a supply, within the prescribed timelines. Therefore, an invoice, among other documents is required to be issued for every form of supply such as sale, transfer, barter, exchange, license, rental, lease or disposal. This chapter provides an understanding of the various documents required to be issued under the GST law, timelines to issue such document and the contents of every such document.

Rule of Issuing Invoice in GST

According to Rule 46 (b) of the CGST Rules 2017, it has been specified that the tax invoice issued by a registered person

  • should have a consecutive serial number,
  • not exceeding 16 characters
  • in one or multiple series
  • containing alphabets or numerals or special characters and any combination thereof unique for a financial year.

This rule implies that with the start of new financial year 2019-20 (w.e.f. 01/04/2019), a new invoice series, unique for the financial year is to be started by the GST taxpayers.

Similar provision is there in Rule 49 of the CGST Rules 2017, in respect of issue of Bill of Supply by registered taxpayers availing Composition Scheme or supplying exempted goods or services or both.

If the provisions of Rule 46 or Rule 49 are not adhered to, apart from being a compliance issue, taxpayers may face problem while generating E-Way Bill on E-way bill system or furnishing their Form GSTR 1 or for applying for refund on GST Portal.

It is therefore necessary that suitable modification may be made by the taxpayers in this regard in their invoices or bill of supply, to avoid any inconvenience in the future.


Under the erstwhile indirect tax laws, depending upon the taxable event, as to whether it is manufacture or sale or service, excise invoices or tax invoices are raised.

Under service tax regime, a time limit to issue a tax invoice is prescribed having regard to date of completion of such taxable service or receipt of any payment towards the value of such taxable service, whichever is earlier.

The provision to issue revised invoice (from the effective date of registration to the date of issuance of certificate) was not available earlier. This document would be useful for claiming tax credit for supply of goods/services during this period.

Under erstwhile law, invoices or bills of sale etc. can be issued inclusive of tax in certain cases whereas it is mandatory to indicate the amount of tax charged on every transaction in the GST regime

Categories GST

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