In December 2023, a noteworthy 9.52 crore e-waybills were generated, marking the second-highest monthly figure to date, following the record high of 10.03 crore in October 2023. This surge can be attributed to enhanced compliance practices.
An e-waybill, an electronic document produced on a portal, serves as evidence of goods movement, specifying whether tax payment has occurred. Rule 138 of the CGST Rules, 2017 mandates every registered person initiating goods movement (regardless of it being a supply) with a consignment value exceeding ₹50,000 (varying as per state) to generate an e-waybill.
The escalating e-waybill numbers, as evidenced by the statistics, reflect a continual upward trajectory since its inception and implementation. This trend aligns with the increasing ease of administering and enforcing tax compliance. The standardization and digitalization introduced by the e-waybill system have mitigated various stressors affecting both taxpayers and authorities within the tax and transport ecosystem.
Examining the integration of e-waybill with GST provides insights into how this framework has significantly contributed to the simplification of tax compliance for businesses. Read on to find out more.
E-waybill Integration with GST Systems for Seamless Compliance
The e-waybill system, developed by the National Informatics Centre, aligns with the One Nation-One Tax-One Market concept of GST. A unified e-waybill for each state would complicate compliance and hinder interstate trade.
To address this, a web-based solution has been deployed, allowing taxpayers and transporters to generate e-waybills easily. The e-waybill system’s rules dictate the information to be provided before goods movement, issuance of a unique e-waybill number (EBN) upon generation, and obligations for the person in charge of conveyance.
The fundamental integration of the e-waybill and GST systems lies in the e-waybill’s integration with the E-invoicing portal. This streamlines processes, particularly for businesses with a turnover exceeding Rs. 50 crores. E-invoicing generates an Invoice Reference Number (IRN) on the government portal, which auto-populates the e-waybill portal, facilitating HSN code mention and GSTR-1 preparation.
E-invoicing involves generating an Invoice Reference Number on the government portal. This reference number seamlessly integrates with the e-waybill portal, where it auto-populates relevant information, including the HSN code for goods. Furthermore, this data is automatically reflected in the GSTR-1 filing. This integration enhances accuracy, reduces manual input, and ensures consistency between invoicing and e-waybill data.
Furthermore, the integration of e-waybill with other systems, including RFID and MIS, empowers authorities with valuable insights and reports to enhance monitoring and control. These reports include real-time identification of vehicles passing through tolls, enabling detailed tracking.
Additionally, the system identifies commercial vehicles traversing tolls without a corresponding e-waybill, a critical measure against bill trading. The integration also facilitates tracking of vehicles carrying specific commodities, crucial during scenarios like the COVID-19 crisis.
Other Ways the E-waybill and GST Relationship Strengthens Compliance
The integration of e-waybill and GST systems has streamlined business documentation significantly. Previously, managing separate records for waybills and tax compliance under the VAT regimen was cumbersome. With the integration, a unified repository now stores essential details, simplifying documentation.
Automated data exchange ensures seamless information flow between the e-waybill and GST systems, minimizing manual entry errors. Efficient verification processes allow tax authorities to cross-verify information effortlessly, enhancing compliance checks and identifying discrepancies effectively.
Businesses benefit from streamlined data entry, entering information once for both e-waybills and GST. The integrated system also eases the audit process by providing tax authorities with a comprehensive overview of compliance-related data. This centralized platform reduces the time and effort required for audits, contributing to more effective and accurate processes.
Automated E-waybill Generation and Filing for GST-Registered Businesses: A Focus on API Integration
Businesses can automate e-waybill generation efficiently through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Through the integration of the e-waybill API into existing systems, businesses establish direct communication with the e-waybill system, enabling automated processes for generating, updating, and retrieving e-waybill data.
For example, the taxpayer inputs invoice details into the automated system, triggering the EWB API for e-waybill generation. After generating the e-waybill, the EWB API returns the EBN No., which is stored with the related invoice record. The system then creates an invoice print with the EBN No. for the transporter/driver.
For the Transporter System API, it pulls assigned e-waybills hourly, enters the LR vehicle number before movement, calls the EWB system with the EBN No. to update Part B of the e-waybill, receives an ACK, and updates the transporter system. The transporter then prints the trip sheet or manifesto for goods movement.
Automation reduces errors associated with manual entry, enhances efficiency, and ensures accurate and timely e-waybill creation. Integration with invoice generation systems further streamlines the process by automatically populating relevant details. The system can also automatically generate GSTR-1 returns based on the e-waybills generated, eliminating the need for manual entry.
Additionally, APIs facilitate smooth data exchange, providing real-time updates on e-waybill statuses. This automation ensures compliance, especially for businesses with high transaction volumes, offering flexibility for customization according to specific business needs.
So, in the end, API integration empowers businesses to optimize logistics and compliance processes, contributing to error reduction and efficient e-waybill management.
You can find the guide to API on https://ewaybillgst.gov.in/Index.aspx# > Help > User Manual > API System.
Streamlining Tax Processes and Reducing Administrative Burden through E-Waybill
The e-waybill system has significantly streamlined tax processes and reduced administrative burdens associated with goods transportation. This digital solution offers numerous advantages contributing to enhanced efficiency and simplified processes.
- Paperless Processes: The e-waybill system eliminates the need for paper documentation, reducing the administrative burden and offering environmental sustainability. Traders no longer visit tax offices for physical Way Bill forms under the VAT regime, and officials are relieved of cross-referencing manual way bills with taxpayer returns.
- Integration with E-Invoicing and GSTR-1 Returns: e-waybill integration with E-invoicing ensures automatic population of invoice details, enhancing data consistency. The system also integrates seamlessly with GSTR-1 returns, simplifying reporting and reducing manual data entry for tax filing.
- Reduction in Tax Evasion and Enhanced Compliance: Mandating e-waybill generation acts as a deterrent against tax evasion, ensuring proper documentation for transactions exceeding a specified value.
- Bulk Generation and Consolidation for Operational Efficiency: Businesses benefit from bulk e-waybill generation, especially with high transaction volumes, and the system supports consolidating multiple e-waybills, reducing paperwork.
- Prevention of Checkpost Hindrances for Smooth Interstate Movement: Abolishing checkposts and implementing the e-waybill system has streamlined interstate transportation, reducing delays. The waiting time at mobile squads has decreased significantly, expediting the verification process.
- Vahan System Integration: Integration with the Vahan System validates vehicle numbers, minimizing the chances of errors and contributing to accurate tracking of commercial vehicles.
- Self-Policing by Traders: Traders inherently account for transactions while generating e-waybill, reducing the need for extensive manual record-keeping.
- Automatic Alerts and Notifications for Timely Communication: The e-waybill system generates automatic alerts, ensuring timely updates for stakeholders, including tax authorities, and reducing the need for manual follow-ups.
Enhancing Visibility and Control Over Goods Movement
The e-waybill system has greatly benefitted logistics and tax processes, providing real-time tracking and transparency in the nationwide movement of goods. Since January 1, 2021, the integration of RFID (radio-frequency identification)/FasTag with the e-waybill system has enhanced visibility and control over goods movement.
Transporters are mandated to use RFID tags. As vehicles pass through tolls, its information transmits to the e-waybill portal in near real-time, enabling authorities to validate GST supplies and detect discrepancies, reducing bill trading. The MIS System generates reports, identifying vehicles without e-waybills and monitoring critical commodity transportation.
This integration aids in spotting suspicious vehicles and watch-listed GSTINs, promoting timely interventions. The system provides toll history insights, helping track deviations and ensuring compliance.
Beyond tracking, RFID integration supports risk analysis, trend analysis, and supply chain monitoring, fortifying control over goods movement. This comprehensive approach detects and prevents fraudulent activities, contributing to a robust and efficient tax administration.
Minimizing Errors and Penalties Through E-waybill Integration
Incorrect or invalid e-waybills can lead to significant penalties. Non-compliance may result in detention, seizure, and even confiscation of goods and conveyances. The fines can range from substantial monetary penalties to a percentage of the goods’ value, emphasizing the importance of maintaining accurate and up-to-date e-waybill information.
E-waybill integration helps minimize errors and penalties associated with the movement of goods. Upon automating the generation and filing of e-waybills, businesses significantly reduce the likelihood of manual data entry errors, ensuring accuracy in compliance processes.
The integration also facilitates real-time validation, preventing the submission of incorrect or incomplete information. This well-structured approach not only enhances efficiency but also mitigates the risk of penalties arising from non-compliance. The automated system promotes consistency in data between e-waybills and GST filings, offering a robust mechanism to identify and rectify discrepancies promptly.
Essentially, e-waybill integration acts as a proactive measure, giving way to error-free transactions and safeguarding businesses from unnecessary penalties.
To sum up, the implementation of e-waybill system has significantly increased tax compliance by providing a structured framework for documenting goods movement. Automated generation methods reduce the likelihood of errors, streamlining the process for businesses. The live tracking feature enhances compliance further, allowing authorities to monitor and verify the real-time movement of goods, fostering a more accountable and efficient tax ecosystem.
Lastly, the contents of this article should not be interpreted as a legal opinion or representation of the author’s views. The information provided is intended solely for informational and educational purposes. Although care has been taken in preparing this article, there may be inadvertent mistakes and omissions. The author disclaims any liability for losses or damages of any nature resulting from inaccurate or incomplete information in this document or any actions taken based on it. It is recommended to seek expert or professional consultation.
Here are some frequently asked questions.
What is the common portal for e-waybill?
The common portal for e-waybill is https://ewaybillgst.gov.in.
Do I need to register on the e-waybill Portal if I’m already registered on the GST Portal?
Yes, every registered person required to generate e-waybills under GST must register on the e-waybill portal (www.ewaybillgst.gov.in) using their GSTIN. This involves OTP authentication and the creation of a username and password for e-waybill system access.
What is the consignment value?
The consignment value is the total value of goods declared in the invoice, bill of challan, or delivery challan, including Central tax, State or Union territory tax, Integrated tax, and Cess. It excludes the value of exempt supply and freight charges for movement.
What is an API Interface?
API Interface is a site-to-site integration enabling taxpayers to link their IT systems with the e-waybill system. This integration allows direct generation of e-waybills from the taxpayer’s IT solution, eliminating duplicate data entry and reducing the chances of errors.
What are the prerequisites for using API for e-waybill generation?
For businesses to utilize the API interface, the following conditions must be met:
- Automation of the invoice generation process.
- Generation or updating of at least 1000 activities per day on the e-waybill system.
- Possession of an SSL or TSL-based domain name for the interface.
- Availability of a static IP address.
- Modification of the automated system to facilitate data exchange with the EWB system according to the API.
- Establishment of a pre-production system for testing purposes.
What are the benefits of API Interface?
API Interface streamlines the process by allowing seamless transmission of e-waybill details from the taxpayer’s system to the e-waybill system. This integration reduces manual efforts, minimizes data entry errors, and enhances efficiency by generating e-waybills instantaneously.
What is the verification of the vehicle number in the EWB Portal?
e-waybill is integrated with the Vahan System of the Transport Department. The vehicle number entered in the e-waybill is verified with the Vahan System, ensuring accuracy in vehicle information.
Can I generate consolidated e-waybills via an automated system?
Yes, through API integration, businesses can generate consolidated e-waybills efficiently, reducing paperwork and administrative efforts.
Why am I receiving SMS and pop-up alerts for total invoice values exceeding Rs. 10 Crores?
The system sends alerts for abnormal total invoice values exceeding Rs. 10 Crores, prompting users to correct or cancel the entry if it was made erroneously, ensuring accuracy in reporting.
How should I carry e-waybills in public transport?
In cases of goods movement by public transport, the person causing the movement is responsible for generating the e-waybill. During verification, the person can show the e-waybill number to the proper officer.