E-Way Bill: What is it?

E-Way Bill, or EWB, or Electronic Way-Bill is essentially a statutory compliance for the transportation of goods via vehicles where the value of the consignment exceeds ₹ 50,000 in one invoice /delivery bill /challan or across multiple such bills in one round of transportation. The e-Way Bill was introduced to the taxation system as a part of the GST rules. EWB generation is essential for transportation and if not generated can lead to serious implications for the people involved in the transfer of goods. It is treated severely under the non-compliance of GST laws. Let’s look at what the E-way bill non-compliance effect is on the people involved, its implications and penalties for the same.

Related: E-Way Bill Basics

When to Generate an E-Way Bill?

A transporter has to generate an e-Way Bill (EWB)

    • In relation to a supply
    • For motives other than supply ( for ex. return)
    • Inward supply from an unregistered person

A supply constitutes the following:

  • Sale of Goods
  • Transfer of Goods to another location
  • Barter Exchange (Exchange of Goods rather than goods for money ).

An e-Way Bill has to raised for certain specific products even when the value of consignment is below Rs. 50,000:

Interstate transport of handicrafts by the dealer who has been exempted from GST registration.

Interstate transportation of goods by the principal to the job worker by registered job worker/principal.

Who is in charge of the e-way bill?

A copy of the Electronic waybill generated should be carried by the individual responsible for the transportation of the goods. If not a copy, then at the very least the 12-digit e-way bill number(EBN) should be handy with the transporter. The person-in-charge of transportation should also carry a copy of the bill/invoice/delivery challan for the goods. The ewb can be carried in printout form, SMS(electronic form) or the e-way bill number can be written on the invoice /challan.

E-Way Bill Non-Compliance

Non-compliance with the generation of the e-way bill is regarded as a gross negligence of GST rules. Implications of E-way Bill non-compliance have been mainly categorized as :

Financial/Monetary Implications

E-way bill is essentially a document which is issued in regards to compliance [additional requirement to delivery bill/invoice] therefore, there is no tax-related implication involved if you don’t generate an e-way bill and the tax on the invoice raised, However, in such certain cases, a penalty of Rs. 10000 is levied on the transporter.

It is also interesting to note that the goods which are transported without an e-way bill are under heavy scrutiny of allegations of tax evasion by the consignor and consignor could also be in danger of being levied a penalty equivalent to the tax for the same.

Therefore, good being transported without a proper e-way bill are under the scrutiny of being levied heavy penalties of up to 10,000 rupees or the amount of tax payable for that particular invoice whichever is higher.

Non-monetary Implications

The goods being transported without producing an e-way bill are liable to be seized and/or detained, not just the goods but the vehicle conveying them could also be held/ seized /detained. These goods along with the carrying vehicle will only be released after the appropriate monetary settlement of the due tax/penalty.

In addition to this, the goods and the vehicle conveying goods without and e-way bill are liable to be confiscated by the authorities if the tax/penalty levied is not paid within 7 days particular detention/ seizure.

Summary of E-way Bill Non-Compliance

In conclusion, E-way bill non-compliance can be summed up as follows:

    • Working Capital Blockage: Paying the penalty levied for non-generation of the e-way bill leads to a potential outflow of funds in hand. This can create working capital issues  for businesses
    • Supply Chain Disruption: The biggest impact that non-compliance of the e-way bill can cause to businesses is the seizure of goods and the vehicle carrying those goods. Maybe a business cannot incur the loss of a delayed shipment or a delayed shipment will cause other issues and hence non-compliance with the e-way bill could potentially harm operations.
    • Impact on the other GST assessments: The Tax department can initiate action on all GST activities of the business involved in the non-compliance and start an investigation on all GST returns. Department could ask for a reconciliation between the supplies reported for ewb generation and the supplies in the GST return. This could lead to stricter and more harsher future audits and checks for the concerned business.
    • Dent to business reputation: Action against the business by tax authorities could put a negative image of the business in front of consumers as well as businesses as a dishonest taxpayer which could hurt business in unforeseen ways.

Thus, rather than facing all these negative implications of E-way Bill Non-Compliance it is better to take appropriate precautions and get your EWB done. The E way-bill can be generated as follows:

  • E-Way Bill Generation via SMS.
  • E-Way Bill Generation via EWB portal.
  • E-Way Bill Generation via Android Application.
  • Site-to-Site Integration via the EWB API.

 

 

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