In a bid to clamp down on unauthorised notices and summons issued to individuals and corporates by tax officials, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Wednesday announced the introduction of computer-generated Document Identification Number (DIN), which will be be quoted in any notice issued by its officials.
The DIN comes into effect from October 1, 2019, said an official statement.
The development comes in the wake of the recent call for ease in unnecessary and continuous tax related enquiries along with rise in concern over increasing harassment of corporates by tax officials. This situation came to light with Coffee Day Enterprises founder V.G. Siddhartha's last letter to the company board, where he mentioned incessant harrassment by tax officials.
On August 13, IANS reported that the government will soon lay out procedures that would further provide impetus to ease of doing business. This could include measures by the revenue department to ensure honest taxpayers are not harassed and those who commit minor or procedural violations are not subjected to excessive penal action.
According to the CDBT, although most of the notices and orders of the Income Tax Department are being generated electronically on the Income Tax Business Application (ITBA) platform, there have been some instances in which the notice, order, summons and letters were found to have been issued manually, without maintaining a proper audit trail of such communication.
"In order to prevent such instances and to maintain proper audit trail of all communication, the CBDT has laid down parameters 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, approval etc. to the assessee or any other person will be dealt with," the statement said.
"All such communication issued on or after the 1st of October, 2019, shall carry a computer-generated Document Identification Number (DIN) duly quoted in the body of such communication."
The CBDT has also specified exceptional circumstances where the communication may be issued manually but only after recording reasons in writing and with the prior written approval of the Chief Commissioner or Director General of Income-Tax concerned.
"In cases where manual communication is required to be issued, the reason for issue of manual communication without DIN has to be specified alongwith the date of obtaining written approval of the Chief Commissioner or Director General of Income-Tax in a particular format," it said.
In all pending assessment proceedings, where notices were issued manually, all such cases would be identified and the notices so sent would be uploaded on ITBA by 31st October, 2019.
The order comes a day after IANS reported that a stimulus package is on the anvil for reviving the economy, which could include measures by the revenue department to ensure honest taxpayers are not harassed and those who commit minor or procedural violations are not subjected to excessive action.
The Prime Minister too indicated about such measures in a recent media interview.
( 514 Words)