Manish Kumar, New Delhi, Aug 14: After the strong diktat by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come out with measures to stop harassment of honest taxpayers, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) announced several measures to ensure greater transparency and accountability in tax administration.
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 said that there have been some instances where it was not possible to maintain the audit trail of the communication issued manually. Now from1st Oct 2019 onwards, no communication would be issued manually without DIN except only if it is in the specified exceptional circumstances. But in such 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 special format. Any communication which is not in conformity with the prescribed guidelines shall be treated as invalid and non existence 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 sent would be uploaded on ITBA by 31st Oct 2019.
It may be recalled Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) founder and promoter V G Siddhartha’s death raised the issue of tax terrorism. In his letter Siddhartha wrote about harassment by senior Income Tax department officer for attaching CCD shares, which hurt his subsequent deal to sell off his 20% share in Mindtree, despite filing revised income returns.