The e-way bill system, rolled out under the Goods and Service Tax (GST), tracks the transport of consignments under certain conditions. It was introduced on April 01, 2018, and has indeed been a successful implementation. The indirect taxation regime is mandatory for interstate movement of goods. A taxpayer has to generate an e-way bill before commencing the movement of goods with value exceeding Rs. 50,000.
The e-way bill portal has effectively helped to streamline the logistics process, and there have been no reported glitches in the system. However, there are certain errors recorded on the end of taxpayers. Registered users need to be cautious of such mistakes as they can disrupt the supply chain process or lead to penal consequences. Fortunately, these committed errors can be avoided while generating e-way bills.
Read on to note the common mistakes.
The e-way bill system does not permit the submission of multiple challans or invoices to generate a single e-way bill. Each invoice or challan is considered a separate consignment. Thus, it is imperative to generate a separate e-way for every invoice. Even in the case of multiple invoices with the same consignee, an e-way bill has to be generated for each invoice. Despite this requirement, it has been recorded that businesses or taxpayers tend to collate the invoices and generate one e-way bill.
Part-B of the e-way bill requires the taxpayer to furnish the vehicle number. This number must be entered in a valid format or it disrupts the system’s functions. System records state many users do not furnish the number of the vehicle in a systematic format. The government has specifically issued FAQs that clarify how a vehicle number has to be entered in the system.
For e.g., if the vehicle number entered on the registration certificate is ‘MH 2 678’, then the accepted format to be filled in the system is ‘MH02068’.
With the recent updates, the e-way bill system now provides the option for bulk generation of bills. This upgrade has increased the efficiency of the system and made the process more convenient for users. A taxpayer can now upload multiple invoices at a given point and generate multiple e-way bills at the same time. However, there’s a process that needs to be followed to use this facility. The user has to prepare the request through a JSON-enabled excel file. Once the file is updated on the portal, it undertakes the generation of e-way bills.
Most users falter when requesting a bulk generation. They end up using a used template without paying attention to any previous entries that may have been done on the same sheet. Submitting this sheet leads to errors with e-way bills’ generation and future records.
It is often found that the taxpayers generate e-way bills using a different ID every time they make an entry. Many times, a single user who generates e-way bills for different entities ends up using the IDs interchangeably. This way of bill generation leads to the bills having incorrect GSTIN. Thus, it is very important to be consistent with the user IDs to avoid errors with recording.
The government has put together a facility that allows an extension provision on the validity period of an e-way bill. This validity can be extended before or after eight months of expiry. However, most users are unable to make use of this facility. This is partially fueled by the fact that the tracking mechanism on the e-way bill portal is not fully effective.
When generating an e-way bill, every user needs to compulsorily provide the vehicle number and transporter ID. Even if the consignment is undertaken by a third-party transporter, the user has to provide the transporter ID. The vehicle number too must be furnished on the portal. It is often recorded that users do not fill in the transporter ID when using third-party transporters for consignments, and stop at the vehicle number. Then, in case of a vehicle breakdown during transition, the transporters are unable to access the portal. As a result, the vehicle number tends to be incorrect on the e-way bill, leading to further confusion.
When generating an e-way bill, the user must ensure that all the essential documents are attached. It is also vital to enter the appropriate details. Quite often, authorities have found that users do not enter the correct supporting details when generating e-way bills. This leads to major issues with the consignments. In such cases, authorities have no choice but to detain goods and levy a penalty. Such errors also lead to challenges at the time of auditing and assessment. Users must be mindful when providing details of supporting documents.
In conclusion, the errors listed above are easily avoidable. Taxpayers just need to be particularly mindful when generating an e-way bill to minimize reconciliation issues.
If an incorrect e-way bill has been generated, there is no way to edit or make a reentry. The user will have to cancel the e-way bill and generate a new one. However, the incorrect e-way bill must be cancelled within 24 hours of generation.
Even in the case of rejected material, the supplier needs to generate the e-way bill for ‘sales return’, and arrange for the movement of the rejected material.
An e-way bill can be generated for a goods consignment that has a back-dated invoice. However, it must be done before the movement of the goods.
The responsibility of generating an e-way bill lies with the consignee or consignor when the value of the goods exceeds Rs. 50,000. The responsibility may also be passed on to the transporter when the goods are transported from the location of the transporter.
An e-way bill must be generated when transporting goods that exceed the value of Rs. 50,000.