All notices, orders or summons issued by Income Tax officials, from 1 October, will include a computer-generated Document Identification Number (DIN). In a recent press release, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) informed of this move and is hoped to curb the problem of unauthorized notices to individuals and companies.
In a press conference on Friday, FM Nirmala Sitharaman confirmed the same under new measures to put a check on any harrasment faced by companies or individuals from tax authorities.
- The DIN will be verifiable on the department's e-filing portal.
- Any communication without a DIN will be treated as invalid and shall be deemed to have never been issued.
- Manually issued notification will be allowed only in specific circumstances and with specific permission (requiring providing reason for not generating DIN and with written approval from Chief Commissioner/ Director General).
- Any such manually issued communication will have to be regularised at the IT department's portal within 15 days from the date that it is issued.
- While the new rules come into effect from 1 October 2019, pending assessment cases with manually issued notices will be uploaded by the notices on Income Tax Business Application (ITBA) platform (the system that generates IT notices/orders with DIN) by 31 October 2019.
By allowing taxpayers to verify the notices on the portal, it will help them detect fake notices, protecting them from harassment by tax officers.
Further, it will improve accountability and transparency in the tax system. The tax department said that there have been instances where it was not possible to maintain an audit trail of manually issued communication. A computerized system will make maintaining such a record mandatory.