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Document Identification Number – Everything you need to know

Document Identification Number under GST

What is Document Identification Number (DIN?)

The CBIC body has mandated the generation of a Document Identification Number (DIN) for all means of communications sent by the tax officials to taxpayers. The Government’s main objective of issuing DIN is bringing more transparency and accountability in the indirect tax administration system with the use of information technology. After the generation of DIN, the department would print the page bearing the DIN along with quoting and filing it in the concerned file for any further communication. This practice would bring a digital directory to maintain a proper audit trail for any sort of communication.

When was it implemented?

DIN has been mandated by the board under CGST Act-2017/Central Excise Act,1944 Tax and implemented on November 8, 2019, with its 20-digit DIN.

What sort of communications would be covered under the DIN system?

The CBIC body has expressed that all the communication issued without any computer-generated DIN after the 8th of November would be considered invalid and would be deemed as never been issued. The DIN would be generated for search authorization, arrest memo, summons, inspection notices and inquiry letters to bring more transparency and accountability in the taxation system. The digital platform which would be used for the generation of DIN is hosted on the Directorate of Data Management (DDM)’s an online portal and the conserved website is “cbicddm.gov.in”.

Is there any exception under DIN?

Although DIN has been mandated in all the major circumstances and communication, there are circumstances where exceptions are made only after considering the reasons in the concerned file. And those communications would state that they have been issued without a DIN.

There are crucial situations where communications would be issued without the electronically generated DIN and those are as follows: – (i) at the time of technical difficulties while generating the electronic DIN, or (ii) at the time of communication regarding inquiry/investigation, verification, etc. Along with that, it is required to issue in urgent situations at short notice and if the authorized officer is outside the office due to his official duties.

What are the consequences if documents requiring DIN have been issued without the same?

Except for the exceptional circumstances and communications discussed above, a document for communication is required DIN. However, if the document is issued without quoting the same would be treated as invalid and would be deemed to have never been issued before. Hence the taxpayer regarding the same is not required to comply with such invalid document or communication. And the department now can’t take any action based on such an invalid document.

How DIN can be generated?

As per the current scenario, DIN is only required to be generated for the documents or communications issued by the tax department. Taxpayers only can file the reply/comply manually and ignore invalid documents with DIN. Therefore, for now, the only department can generate DIN under GST with the help of the Directorate of Data Management (DDM)’s online portal “cbicddm.gov.in”.

How DIN can impact the taxation system?

The advent of the DIN system in taxation is a transformative step. In the long run, DIN would enable entire communication over the online platform between the taxpayers and the department. It would bring greater transparency.

Though the impact of implementing DIN is yet to be seen, it can be assumed that it will help in preventing unnecessary harassment using the name of tax collection by the tax officials.

No country can be imagined without entrepreneurs and businessmen, and the honest ones should be supported and encouraged by a transparent system. Hoping, this transparent system would fix the issues of corruption and would help tax officials to be more accountable for their duties.

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