What is an e-way bill?
EWay Bill is an electronic waybill for movement of goods to be generated on the eWay Bill Portal. A GST registered person cannot transport goods in a vehicle whose value exceeds Rs. 50,000 (Single Invoice/bill/delivery challan) without an e-way bill that is generated on ewaybillgst.gov.in. Alternatively, Eway bill can also be generated or cancelled through SMS, Android App and by site-to-site integration through API. When an eway bill is generated, a unique Eway Bill Number (EBN) is allocated and is available to the supplier, recipient, and the transporter.
Linkage of E Way bill with GST Returns:
One aspect related to e way bills which has been debated by the industry at large is the reconciliation of e-way bills generated with the data declared in GST returns. One of the main objectives of the e way bill provision is to curb revenue leakage. So, in future, businesses can be expected to receive notices seeking explanations for discrepancies in the data reported in the GST returns vs the e-way bill portal. Even though currently no link between the e-way bill and GST return portals, the government has put certain expectations and the same can be anticipated based on the recent cases of notices being issued to businesses for differences in the data declared in GSTR-3B and GSTR-2A returns. It is beneficial for the clients to prepare themselves in advance by reconciling both the databases.
The following points need to be considered and factors importance while trying to reconcile e-way bill data with GST returns:
Any differences in the details populated on both the portals would need to be documented.
The requirement for issuance of e way bills only applies to the movement of goods over and above a threshold limit, whereas the data declared in GSTR-1 includes all the supplies regardless of any threshold. There may be scenarios where e way bills are required to be generated, even for movement of goods through delivery challans; however, such supplies are not reported in GSTR-1. There is no requirement to issue e way bills in case of supply of services, whereas the same needs to be duly reported in GSTR-1.
The possibility of assigning roles for the issuance of e way bills to transporters and ‘consignees’ would make reconciliation even more difficult and time-consuming.
The reconciliation of the value of supplies considering the credit notes issued later by the supplier to factor the discounts for the customer is difficult.
Limits for raising E Way bills vary from state to state on local transfer of materials.
The above discussion explains the need for businesses to start preparing themselves in advance for the future requirements from the govt to sync e way bill reports with the GST database.