CBDT intriduces Documentation Identification Number system

The Documentation Identification Number (DIN) system of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) came into existence on October 1, 2019 with the generation of about 17,500 communications with DIN on the very first day. This path-breaking DIN system has been created as per the direction of Finance Minister, Ms Nirmala Sitharaman, and from now onwards every CBDT communication will have to have a documentation identification number.

Revenue Secretary, Dr Ajay Bhushan Pandey, said, “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.”

“…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 added.

It would be pertinent to mention here that while specifying such exceptional circumstances, the CBDT Circular related to DIN, dated August 14, 2019, says that 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 shall be treated as invalid and non est in law.

CBDT has specified that any communication issued manually under exceptional circumstances would 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, would be identified and notices so sent would be uploaded on ITBA by the end of this month, i.e., by October 31, 2019.

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. 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, said a communiqué.