FICCI, CII, Assocham and the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), which represents several American multinational firms operating in India, are among several industry associations that have asked the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) to allow industry to implement e-invoicing on a voluntary basis from October 1, but extend the deadline for mandatory implementation till December end.
As per a survey conducted by Assocham, over 90% of its members have sought for the extension.
"We have requested the government to introduce e-invoicing from October 1 on a voluntary basis and make it mandatory after three months,” Assocham secretary-general Deepak Sood told ET.
“With the current situation and the fact that we are entering a festive season, though sentiments are muted, it is better to wait for such a major change," he said.
Earlier this week, the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), the digital back bone of GST, which is executing the scheme issued clarifications that the electronic invoicing standard will not be applicable for business-to-consumer supplies or import bills of entries, and special economic zone units, banking companies, insurers, goods transport agencies and passenger transport companies will be exempt from using it.
"Since updated scheme was released early August 2020 and the revised APIs were released only recently, our member taxpayers are finding it difficult to test and implement the system before the due date," USISPF president Mukesh Aghi said, asking relief for industry already suffering from the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Companies will need to make changes to their accounting, billing and ERP softwares to enable reporting of invoices to Invoice Registration Portals (IRP) and obtain Invoice Reference Number (IRN). The softwares and billing mechanisms are typically not from the same provider, thus making the change at the core levels requires more time, experts said.
“Invoicing is the lifeline for companies. It can be a show-stopper for companies if the error rate (in execution) is not zero,” said Mahesh Jaising, national indirect tax leader at Deloitte India.
Allowing companies to go through a transition phase by allowing voluntary compliance will lead to far fewer disruptions and will enable the government to resolve any teething troubles that may arise in the implementation.
Companies in the FMCG, consumer durables, auto and other sectors are relying on the October to December quarter, which will have Diwali and Christmas, for revival in demand following an extended lull that began from April this year amid the Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdown.
“This quarter is perhaps even more important this year. Impact of disruptions on any account will be far more pronounced,” cautioned Uday Pimprikar, national leader of indirect tax at EY.
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1 Comment on this Story
Sagar Sen30 days ago
Request to defer this until 1st Jan 2020. Businesses are struggling... even yesterday new version of API released.