CBDT has issued Circular No.19/2019 dt. 14 August 2019, which prescribes revised procedure for issuance of Income Tax Notice, etc. to Taxpayers, from 1 October 2019.
In the revised procedures, all communications made by the tax department to assessees from shall quote a computer generated Document Identification Number (DIN) to maintain proper audit trail and promote transparency of all IT communications.
Presently also, with a view to bringing greater transparency and improvement in service delivery, almost all notices and orders are being generated electronically on the Income Tax Business Application (ITBA) platform.
However, it has been brought to the notice of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (the Board) that there have been some instances in which the notice, order, summons, letter and any correspondence were found to have been issued manually, without maintaining a proper audit trail of such communication.
Hence, to bring greater transparency in the functioning of the tax administration and improvement in service delivery, it was said that
- All such communication issued on or after the 1st of October, 2019 shall carry a computer-generated DIN duly quoted in the body of such communication.
- In case 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.
- 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 parameters have been specified by the CBDT, 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.
The CBDT has also specified exceptional circumstances where the communication could be issued manually. Such exceptions are:
- When there are technical difficulties in generating/allotting/quoting the DIN and issuance of communication electronically; or
- When communication regarding enquiry, verification etc. is required to be issued by an income-tax authority, who is outside the office, for discharging his official duties: or
- When due to delay in PAN migration, PAN is lying with non-jurisdictional Assessing Officer: or
- when PAN of assessee is not available and where a proceeding under the Act (other than verification under section 131 or section 133 of the Act) is sought to be initiated; or
- When the functionality to issue communication is not available in the system
However, in case the communication issued under exception circumstances, it shall state the fact that the communication is issued manually without a DIN, recording reasons in writing and the date of obtaining of the written approval of the Chief Commissioner / Director General of Income-Tax for issue of manual communication
In addition to the above, in all pending assessment proceedings, all such cases where notices were issued manually i.e. prior to issuance of this Circular, would be identified and the notices so sent would be uploaded on ITBA by 31st October, 2019.
The CBDT said issuance of DIN is another step towards better delivery of taxpayer services while ensuring accountability in official dealings.