Credit Note: Meaning, Format, Uses, Benefits, Process

Credit Note: Meaning, Format, Uses, Benefits, Process

Everyone makes mistakes, and this is no different regarding the billing procedure. Credit notes can help with this.

Invoices and credit notes meaning are both binding documents that allow you the crucial option to revoke an already issued invoice.

The amount of the invoice can be deleted from your financial records by issuing a credit note, but the invoice itself is not deleted. 

This is important since removing invoices can be against the law in nations like the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand, where it is mandated that companies have accurate audit trails.

What is a credit note?

A credit note meaning is a letter sent from one party to another that specifies that the sender has awarded the recipient credit in his books. 

If there is a decrease in the taxable value of the goods supplied after the supplier has issued the tax invoice, he may issue a credit note giving the required details.

Although it isn't quite a refund, it serves as a substitute so that customers can buy things later on without having to pay for them. 

A debit note lowers the buyer's obligation, and the seller issues a credit note in response to the debit note the buyer has raised.

Reasons for issuing a credit note

According to Section 34(1) of the CGST Act, the supplier may issue a credit note when a tax invoice is issued and needs to be modified to lower the tax burden stated in it. 

Typical justifications for the seller issuing a credit note include:

  • Due to quality difficulties, service rejections, or receiving damaged items, the buyer may return purchases.
  • charging the consumer extra fees or having the buyer pay more than the value of the invoice
  • Give the purchaser a post-sale discount.
  • The customer's amount is less than what is shown on the tax invoice.
  • Reversing any outstanding payments on invoices.
  • Any more related cause.

The GSTR-1 form for each month should include every bit of data about credit notes issued in that month. 

The credit note you previously generated is subject to change, and any such changes must be reported in your monthly GSTR-1. 

The appropriate data will be reflected in the recipient's GSTR-2B and GSTR-2A.

This method allows a provider to modify the tax invoice after it has been issued. 

He can minimise his tax liability without engaging in any time-consuming procedures for seeking refunds. 

A report to the IRP for e-invoicing is also required for debit and credit notes issued in compliance with Section 34 of the CGST Act.

The following are the requirements for issuing a credit note in GST:

  • It must be published following the deadlines stated in the section below.
  • It must include the initial invoice number for which the credit note was issued. However, the such linkage is optional under the current system.

Issuing a credit note: the process

The following process when a credit note is issued :

1. Buyer B purchases items from Supplier A, who also provides a tax invoice.

2. After noticing some quality problems, Buyer B returned the supplied goods along with a debit notice.

3. AFTER ACCEPTING THE DEBIT NOTE, supplier A acknowledged Buyer B with a credit note.

Duration of a credit note

Both debit notes and credit notes can be issued at any moment. Debit and credit notes must be reported in the GST returns submitted for the month they were issued. 

If it relates to a specific financial year, the GST statute specifies the maximum time restriction for submitting the same in GST filings. Any earlier of the following dates should be declared:

  1. The supply was made on September 30th of the year after.
  2. When the yearly return for the relevant period is due.

The difference between credit and debit notes

You've figured out what credit notes are and how they work by this point. The debit note, however, is another significant document that is worthwhile being aware of as it might be used in the invoicing process.

Debit notes sometimes referred to as debit memos, are sent to your company by customers who want their before-paid money returned.

Customers who receive faulty or damaged goods or who wish to return an item for any other reason may be given a debit note as justification. An official buyer request for a credit note is made to the seller via a debit note.

Format and contents of a credit note

There is no mandated credit note format, but the supplier must include the following details in the credit note.

Contents of a credit note

A credit note's contents are listed below:

  • Business name, location, and supplier's GSTIN
  • Debit notes or credit notes, depending on the type of document.
  • A special serial number with no more than 16 characters. It may contain specialised characters and numeric, alphabetic, and alphanumeric characters.
  • Document's issue date
  • Business name, location, and supplier's GSTIN
  • The taxable amount of the supply, the rate, the tax, and the amount of the buyer's tax credit.
  • The supplier's or his authorised representative's signature.

Steps to create a credit note

Excel, Word, or any other program the business organisation uses to make invoices can be used to construct a credit note. The procedures for creating a credit note are as follows:

  1. Select the credit note design that will be used.
  2. Refresh the company's logo.
  3. Enter the credit note's unique credit note number and issuing date.
  4. The reference to the invoice that the credit note is issued with.
  5. Along with the location of supply, add the GSTINs for the supplier and the customer.
  6. Keeping the credit note safe


As a result, the benefits of credit notes for your business have been explained. 

This credit remark enabled the avoiding inaccuracies in financial statements and cultivating positive client relationships. 

Credit notes also provide many benefits, which strengthens the arguments in favour of their use—these objectives concern how a corporation will evolve.


What is the format for credit notes?

A credit note looks like this: Name and location of the releasing company. Account number. Date and due date of the credit note. The organisation's name and address are listed as the recipient of the credit note.

How can a credit note be used?

A credit note is a formal document delivered to a customer by a company's finance division. A credit note is also issued to the invoice if a sale or order needs to be cancelled or modified. It functions as a legal document that enables you to update an invoice without erasing or otherwise changing it.

What is written on a credit note?

For goods or services that the seller delivered to the customer but that the customer returned or did not get, a credit note outlines the items, quantities, and agreed-upon prices. It might be given out in the event of harmed goods, mistakes, or allowances.

How is a credit note recorded?

In a buyer's accounts, a credit note is recorded as a credit in the buy Returns account to lower the expense and a debit in the Accounts Payable account to lower the debt to the creditor.

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