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All tax letters, notices to carry identification numbers to be verifiable online from Oct 1, 2019

CBDT said that there have been some instances where it was not possible to maintain the audit trail of the communication issued manually.

ET Online|
Updated: Aug 14, 2019, 11.13 PM IST
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All such communications would be verifiable on the e-filing portal.
Starting October 1, 2019, all letters and notices from the income tax department will carry a computer-generated Document Identification Number (DIN) which will be verifiable on the department's e-filing portal. Further, any communication from the department without this DIN will be treated as invalid. Manually issued communications will be allowed only with specific permission and in specified circumstances. Even when such manual communications are sent these would have to be regularised on the tax department's portal within 15 days from date of issue, according to a press release issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) here today .

This move is aimed at improving accountability and increasing transparency in tax administration. It is expected that this move would also help tax payers detect fake notices and letters as the notice would be verifiable on the e-filing portal.

The press release states: The CBDT has decided to attach a Documentation Identification Number (DIN) to each of its communication from 1st October 2019, 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.

CBDT

CBDT said that there have been some instances where it was not possible to maintain the audit trail of the communication issued manually. Now from the stipulated timeline of 1st Oct 2019 onwards, no communication would be issued manually without DIN except only if it is in the specified exceptional circumstances. But in such exceptional circumstances, which are specified in the Circular dated 14.08.2019 while issuing any manual communication it would be required to specify reason of issuing 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 of with the prescribed guidelines shall be treated as invalid and non est in law.

CBDT has also 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.

Further, in all pending assessment proceedings, where notices were issued manually, prior to issuance of the present Circular, all such cases would be identified and notices so sent would be uploaded on ITBA by 31st Oct 2019.

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