Export of Services and Invoice Format – Overview of Export of Services

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) literature provides detailed guidelines about the content of an invoice in its various notes.  The ‘Export Invoice’ related to Service is also a document containing a description of the services provided by an exporter, and the amount due from the importer.  Export invoicing is governed by various laws and regulations including GST regime as well as the guidelines of RBI.  Export invoices are used by the governmental authorities in the assessment and calculation of taxes.

There are three types of transactions that are related to export in GST:  Export under IGST, Under Bond/LUT, and Zero- rated supply.

Under the GST Law, the export of goods or services has been treated as follows.

  • inter-State supply and covered under the IGST Act.
  • ‘zero rated supply’ i.e., the goods or services exported shall be relieved of GST levied upon them either at the input stage or at the final product stage.

Zero- rated supply means that the entire value chain of the supply is exempt from tax. This means that in case of zero rating, not only is the output exempt from payment of tax, but there is also no bar on taking/availing credit of taxes paid on the input side for making/providing the output supply.

The export transaction can be completed on payment of IGST that can be claimed as refund after the goods have been exported, as per the defined procedure.   In the case of goods and services exported under bond or LUT, the exporter can claim a refund of accumulated ITC on account of export. The export goods are to be made under self-sealing and self-certification without any intervention of the departmental officer.

Export invoices fall under electronic invoicing system for taxpayers with aggregate Annual Turnover of more than 10 Cr from 01st October, 2022. This ceiling will be modified on a periodical basis.  All supplies to SEZs (with/without payment), exports (with/without payment), deemed exports, are also  currently covered under e-invoicing except those fall under exempt list with the turnover limit.

Generating the right export invoice is an important part of export services. Business needs to ensure that it complies with all regulations while issuing an export invoice to avoid any legal or financial penalties.  There are no specific guidelines mentioned for the format of invoice while exporting services.  Generally, export invoices for services need to contain the following details based on the available info.

  • Name, address, contact details and GSTIN of exporter and similar details of recipient
  • Invoice number and date
  • Details of Shipping
  • Type of export and total value of invoice and currency
  • Conversion rate from INR to applicable currency and Total Value of the Document
  • Taxable Value, Tax rate and Tax as applicable, if the refund is claimed and type of export is Export with Tax
  • HSN Code
  • Signature of authorized person

Shipping bill number, date and Port are not needed for Invoice related to Export of Services as per the Annexure documentation of GST.

Exporters need to submit various forms and documents to report on their export transactions to RBI pe the type of exports and need to follow RBI guidelines.  If the exporter is claiming any benefits under export promotional schemes, the relevant details should be included in the invoice.  DGFT is responsible for administering various export schemes.

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