In an significant move to promote digital payments in Business to Customer (B2C) transactions through QR Code and GST enablement on UPI, the government has conditionally waived the penalty provisions for a period of four months from December 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021 for issuing invoices without mandatory dynamic QR code by the registered persons with a turnover exceeding Rs 500 crore, sources said.
Sources in the Department of Revenue (DoR) said that the government has been pursuing the banks, vendors and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for almost a year now to introduce GST enablement on UPI. Multiple meetings were conducted by the department with the NPCI, top banks and other stakeholders to push the project.
The NPCI developed the necessary solution required and shared technical documents, FAQs, etc, with the banks. Also, the NPCI was ready for the bank certification from February 6, 2020 and targeted for GST enablement on UPI to go live from first week of March 2020.
Sources said that the government, also, in pursuance of its objective to create a less cash society, mandated issuance of invoices with dynamic QR code by registered persons (business entities) with turnover exceeding 500 crores, vide its order dated March 21, 2020 to enable GST on the UPI which was to be effective from December 1, 2020 in respect of invoices issued to unregistered persons (customers).
A penalty provision was also invoked for issuance of invoices without dynamic QR code from December 1. However, the majority of the banks lagged behind in their preparedness for enablement of GST on UPI despite multiple meetings, persuasions and necessary support from the NPCI.
According to the sources, recently in a high level review meeting at North Block on GST enablement on UPI, it was decided to give one time waiver on penalty provisions for four months period till March 31, 2021 on the condition that the stakeholders would set up necessary process during this period to go-live with QR code on invoices by April 1, 2021, thereby enabling GST on UPI.
Thus, the government, said the sources, decided to extend certain concession and issued fresh notification dated November 29, waiving the penalty for issuing invoices without dynamic QR code from December 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021, provided that the taxpayers start complying with requirement of QR code from April 1, 2021.