- Transparency through technology can take India forward by rooting out corrupt practices. One more step in that direction has been taken by the Central Government by introducing the concept of Document Identification Number (DIN).
- Generation and quoting of Document Identification Number (DIN) on any communication issued by the officers of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) to tax payers and other concerned persons has the sole objective of transparency and accountability in indirect tax administration through widespread use of information technology, for tracking of all communications sent by its offices to taxpayers and other concerned persons.
Important points of the Circular:
- The DIN would be used for search authorization, summons, arrest memo, inspection notices and letters issued in the course of any enquiry.
- The 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.
- No search authorization, summons, arrest memo, inspection notices and letters issued in the course of any enquiry shall be issued by any officer under the board to a taxpayer or any other person, on or after the 8th day of November, 2019 without a computer-generated Document Identification Number (DIN) being duly quoted prominently in the body of such communication.
- Any specified communication which does not bear the electronically generated DIN and is not covered by the exceptions shall be treated as invalid and shall be deemed to have never been issued.
- Any communication issued without an electronically generated DIN in the exigencies mentioned shall be regularized within 15 working days of its issuance.
- Genuineness of communication can be checked by recipient by verifying DIN on www.cbic.gov.in portal wherein recipient will be required to enter DIN. Upon entering valid DIN, information about the office that issued the communication and date of generation of DIN shall display.
Exceptions to when absence of DIN may be excused (temporarily)
DIN is a mandatory requirement, circular provides for 2 exigent circumstances wherein document can be issued without mentioning DIN:
Situation 1: When concern officer is facing technical glitch in generation of electronic DIN.
Situation 2: When communication regarding investigation/enquiry, verification etc is required to be issued at short notice or on urgent basis and the concerned officer is outside the office in discharge of his official duties.
However, such exception can be exercised after recording the reasons for the same in writing in the concerned file.
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Twenty years of experience in tax practice. Specialist in structuring & planning and tax optimization under indirect tax. Lead eastern India indirect tax practice of Ernst & Young in past.