After Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement that taxmen who harass honest taxpayers will be punished, on Wednesday the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has that said all communications made by the tax department to assessees from October 1 will carry a Document Identification Number (DIN) in order to promote transparency.
With a view to bringing greater transparency in the functioning of the tax administration and improvement in service delivery, almost all notices and orders of the Income Tax Department are being generated electronically on the Income Tax Business Application (ITBA) platform. "The CBDT has decided to attach a Documentation Identification Number (DIN) to each of its communication from October 1, be it a notice, order, summon, letter or any other correspondence. Any communication without a computer-generated DIN would be treated as invalid and shall be deemed to have never been issued. All such communications would be verifiable on the e-filing portal," an official release read.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had assured honest and law-biding taxpayers that they will not be harassed by the tax department. The CBDT has now laid down parameters specifying the manner in which any communication issued by any income-tax authority relating to assessment, appeals, orders, statutory or otherwise, exemptions, enquiry, investigation, verification of information, penalty, prosecution, rectification and approval to the assessee will be dealt with.
According to the CBDT release, the need for DIN was felt as in some instances in the past the "audit trail' of the manual communication could not be maintained, however, from October 1 there will be no communication without the number except in some exceptional circumstances. "CBDT said that there have been some instances where it was not possible to maintain the audit trail of the communication issued manually," the release read.
"But in such exceptional circumstances, which are specified in the circular dated August 14, while issuing any manual communication it would be required to specify the reason of issuing a communication without DIN along with the date of obtaining written approval of the Chief Commissioner or Director General of Income Tax in a particular format," it added.
The CBDT has also specified exceptional circumstances where the communication could be issued manually. "Any communication which is not in conformity with the prescribed guidelines shall be treated as invalid and shall be deemed to have never been issued," it added. Further, CBDT has also laid down the timelines and procedure by which such communication issued manually will have to be regularised and intimated to the Principal Director General of Income-tax (Systems). The CBDT said issuance of DIN is another step towards better delivery of taxpayer services while ensuring accountability in official dealings.
(Inputs from Agencies)