CBIC mandates quoting of Document Identification Number in all communications from November 8

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 06, 2019

Starting November 8, all search authorisation, summons, arrest memo, inspection notices and letters issued by Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Custom (CBIC) to taxpayers will have computer generated ‘Document Identification Number’ (DIN).

CBIC is the apex policy making body for indirect taxes in the Central government. It has implemented this mechanism after its counterpart for direct taxes (Income Tax, Corporate Taxes etc), Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) implemented it from October this year.

“In keeping with the government’s objective of transparency and accountability in indirect tax administration through widespread use of information technology, the CBIC is implementing a system for electronic (digital) generation of a Documents Identification Number (DIN) for all communications sent by its office to taxpayers and other concerned person,” the indirect tax policy body said in a circular.

Further, it stated that this measure would create a digital directory for maintaining a proper audit trail of such communication. Importantly, it would provide the recipients of such communication a digital facility to ascertain their genuineness. Subsequently, the DIN would be extended to other communications. Also, there is plan to have the communication itself bearing the DIN generated from the system.

Though DIN is mandatory requirement, still in exceptional circumstances communication may be issued without an auto generated DIN. However, this exception is to be made only after recording the reasons in writing. These circumstances include technical difficulties, notices to be issued at short notices or officer in-charge is away. Nonetheless same needs to be regularised within 15 working days of its issuance.

Most importantly the circular states that “any specified communication which does not bear the electronically generated DIN and is not covered by the exceptions mentioned above shall be treated as invalid and shall be deemed to have never been issued.”

Commenting on the development, Pritam Mahure, a Chartered Accountant, said that along-with CBDT now CBIC has also moved towards creating a digital audit trail of all the communications. “This initiative is certainly a transformative initiative and will help CBIC in increasing transparency,” he said.

Tanushree Roy, Director- GST, Nangia Andersen Consulting said that the Circular would help the taxpayers verify the genuineness of the communication along with creating a digital directory for maintaining a proper audit trail of such communication. Simultaneously, the taxpayers would also be able to track tax officers who have issued such communication, while keeping frivolous communication from the tax authorities at bay.

Published on November 06, 2019

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