Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi: The government on Tuesday launched documentation identification number system of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, and 17,500 numbers generated on the first day.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in August had said that all communications made by the tax department to assessees from October 1 will carry a document identification number (DIN) to promote transparency.

This path breaking DIN system has been created as per the direction of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and from now onwards every CBDT communication will have to have a documentation identification number, said a release by the finance ministry.

"From today, any communication from Income Tax Department without a computer generated DIN, be it a notice, letter, order and summon or any other correspondence, would be treated as invalid and shall be non est in law or deemed to be as if it has never been issued. The DIN system would ensure greater accountability and transparency in tax administration," said Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey.

Now from today onwards, all such communications with DIN would be verifiable on the e-filing portal and no communication would be issued manually without DIN except only if it is in the specified exceptional circumstances, he said.

For such exceptional cases, whenever any such manual communication would be issued, it would be necessarily required to specify reason of issuing such a communication without DIN along with the date of obtaining written approval of the Chief Commissioner/Director General of Income Tax in a particular format.

Any communication which is not in conformity with the prescribed guidelines will be treated as invalid and non est in law, the release said.

Besides, any communication issued manually under exceptional circumstances will have to be uploaded and regularised on the system portal within 15 days of its issuance.

"CBDT has also stated that all pending assessment proceedings, where notices were earlier issued manually, prior to the DIN related Circular dated August 14, 2019 coming into existence, all such cases would be identified and notices so sent would be uploaded on ITBA (Income Tax Business Application) by the end of this month, i.e., by October 31, 2019," it said further.

This is in pursuance of the directions by the Prime Minister in which he has asked the Department of Revenue to come up with specific measures to ensure that the honest taxpayers are not harassed and served better.

It may be noted that earlier there have been some instances where it was not possible to maintain the audit trail of the manually issued communication which in some cases caused inconvenience to taxpayers sometime, it said.

However, with the present system of attaching a DIN to every notice or communication of CBDT would result in better services to taxpayers without any possible harassment, the Finance Ministry said.

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