After the mandatory usage of Document Identification Number (DIN) by income tax authorities, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIC) has also decided to make DIN mandatory for investigation-related communications for Goods and Services Tax (GST), customs and excise beginning on Friday.
No search authorisation, 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 without such computer- generated DIN being quoted in the communication, a CBIC circular said.
Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey on Thursday said, “The DIN system would ensure greater accountability and transparency in the indirect tax administration as well. It would also provide the taxpayer a digital facility to verify any communications.”
“Further, the DIN system would be extended to other communications by the end of next month. No communication would be issued without DIN except only if it is in the specified exceptional circumstances,” he added. The CBIC circular states that communication may be issued without DIN where there are technical difficulties, and that when the communication is required to be issued at short notice or in urgent situations, the same nonetheless needs to be regularised within 15 working days of its issuance.
The genuineness of the communication can be checked and verified by visiting the CBIC’s website by GST taxpayers and recipients of summons, search warrants. “The Board, in exercise of its powers under Section 168(1) of the CGST Act, 2017 and Section 37B of the Central Excise Act, 1944, directs that no search authorisation, summons, arrest memo, inspection notices and letters issued in the course of any inquiry 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,” the CBIC said.
It added that any specified communication not bearing electronically-generated DIN shall be treated as invalid and deemed to have never been issued.
It said this move is aimed at increasing transparency and accountability in indirect tax administration and this would create a digital directory for maintaining a proper audit trail of such communications.
The directive requires immediate mapping of authorised officers who need to generate the DIN, in order to successfully add users for the DIN utility and enable them to electronically generate DINs. “The circular would help taxpayers verify the genuineness of the communication along with creating a digital directory for maintaining a proper audit trail of such communication,” Tanushree Roy, Director—GST, Nangia Andersen Consulting, said.