Indirect Tax News - December 2020

Automation - The new normal

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been in effect in India since 1 July 2017. Since its inception, the journey has been a roller-coaster ride for all stakeholders. Over the three years, several amendments and clarifications have been issued by the Revenue Authorities.  But, the new tax seems to be settling down and it is achieving the Government’s objectives related to simplicity and automation.

One of the biggest reforms introduced by the policymakers with respect to the GST regime has been the introduction of e-invoicing. E-invoicing requires uploading of invoice-level details on the Government’s portal and obtaining a unique Invoice Reference Number (IRN). The IRN must be printed on each invoice and it acts as a mechanism to ensure the authenticity of the invoice.

All-in-all, e-invoicing is expected to be a win-win reform for all the stakeholders. Furthermore, it promotes the government’s Ease of Doing Business in India’ initiative. For the taxpayers, it significantly reduces the compliance burden by auto-populating invoice-level data in their periodic returns.  At the same time, it helps Revenue Authorities weed-out tax fraud and evasion through better use of data analytics and artificial intelligence.

Gunjan Prabhakaran