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DOCUMENT IDENTIFICATION NUMBER UNDER GST LAWS

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DOCUMENT IDENTIFICATION NUMBER UNDER GST LAWS
Mr.M. GOVINDARAJAN By: Mr.M. GOVINDARAJAN
September 1, 2022
All Articles by: Mr.M. GOVINDARAJAN       View Profile
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The Central Government introduced a new system of communication made by the Department to the tax payers and other persons concerned.  According to the new information system the Board implemented a system for digital generation of a document identification number (‘DIN’ for short) for all communications sent by its offices to the tax payers. 

The DIN is a unique 20 digit identification code.  The structure of DIN is as below-

C B I C   Y Y Y Y   M M   Z C D R   N N N N N N

Where CBIC – Central Board Indirect Tax Commissionerate;

            YYYY – Calendar year in which DIN is generated;

            MM – Month in which DIN is generated;

            ZCDR – Zone – Commissionerate – Division – Range         

                          Code of the field formation/Directorate of the authorized user generating the

   DIN.

            NNNNNN – 6 digit alpha numeric numeric systems generated random number.

Vide Circular No. 122/41/2019-GST, dated 05.11.2019 the Board directed the department officers that DIN would be used for-

  • Search Authorization;
  • Summons;
  • Arrest memo;
  • Inspection notices and letters

issued in the course of any inquiry. 

         CBIC extended its DIN Application hosted on DDM’s online portal www.cbicddm.gov.in.  to all Communications (including e-mails) sent by any CBIC office to any tax payer or other concerned person with effect from 24.12.2019. No communication is to be sent to any tax payer or other concerned person without an electronically generated DIN.

The Circular dated 05.11.2019 made DIN a mandatory requirement.  In exceptional cases communications may be issued without an auto generated DIN, after recording reasons in writing in the concerned file by the concerned officer.  Such communications may be made-

  • when there are technical difficulties in generating electronic DIN; or
  • when communication regarding investigation/inquiry, verification etc. is required to be issued at show notice or urgent situations and the authorized officer is outside the office in discharge of his official duties.

The Board, in the above said circular, also directed that any specified communication without DIN and is not covered under the exceptions as discussed above  shall be treated invalid and shall be deemed to have never been issued.  The said circular further directed that the said communication has to be regularized within 15 working days of issuance by-

  • obtaining the post facto approval of the immediate superior officer as regards the justification of issuing the communication without the electronically generated DIN;
  • mandatorily generating the DIN after getting post facto approval; and
  • printing the electronically generated pro-forma bearing the DIN and filing it in the concerned file.

The genuineness of the communication can be verified by the tax payer by entering CBIC-DIN for that communication in a window VERIFY CBIC-DIN in CBIC’s website.  Only in cases where the DIN entered is valid, information about the office that issued that communication and the date of generation of its DIN would be displayed on the screen. 

This system has been implemented only by two States viz., Kerala and Karnataka.  There other States have not come forwarded to implement the same.  One Shri Pradeep Goyal, a Chartered Accountant, filed public interest litigation before Supreme Court of India under Article 32 of Constitution of India. [PRADEEP GOYAL VERSUS UNION OF INDIA & ORS. 2022 (8) TMI 216 – Supreme Court]. 

The prayers of the petitioners are as below-

  • to issue a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order or direction to the respondents to take all necessary steps to implement a system for electronic (digital) generation of a DIN for all communications sent by the state tax officers to taxpayers and other concerned persons;
  • to issue a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order or direction to the GST Council to consider and take a policy decision in respect of implementation of DIN system by all the states;
  • to issue a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order or direction to the Central Government/CBIC to introduce centralized DIN for the entire country;
  • to pass such further order(s) as may be deemed fit and proper in facts and circumstances of the present case, in the interest of justice.

The petitioner submitted the following before the Supreme Court-

  • By implementing a system for electronic (digital) generation of a DIN, it will usher in transparency and accountability in the indirect tax administration which  is the Government’s objective.
  • The same may prevent any abuse by the Departmental Officers of pre-dating communications and ratifying actions by authorizations subsequently made out in the files.
  • The DIN system, which will bring in transparency and accountability in the tax administration and, as on today, the same has been implemented only by two States, i.e., the States of Karnataka and Kerala. 
  • GST Council as per Article 279A of the Constitution of India can make recommendations to the States on any matter relating to GST.
  • When implementation of the DIN system is in the larger public interest and the objective to implement the DIN system is to bring in transparency and accountability in the indirect tax administration, it is prayed to direct the respondents – States to implement the DIN system.

The Union of India did not dispute the implementation of DIN system.  So far as the implementation of the system for electronic (digital) generation of a DIN for all communications sent by the State Tax Officers to taxpayers and other concerned persons is concerned, the same is to be done and/or implemented by the concerned States.   It is true that the GST Council in exercise of powers under Article 279A of the Constitution of India can make recommendations to the States and can issue an advisory to all the States to implement the system for electronic (digital) generation of a DIN for all communications sent by the State Tax Authorities/ Officers to taxpayers and other concerned persons, as has been done and implemented by the States of Karnataka and Kerala.

The Supreme Court observed that implementing the system for electronic (digital) generation of a DIN for all communications sent by the State Tax Officers to taxpayers and other concerned persons would be in the larger public interest and enhance good governance. It will bring in transparency and accountability in the indirect tax administration, which are so vital to efficient governance.   As on today, only two States, namely, the States of Karnataka and Kerala have implemented the system for electronic (digital) generation of a DIN in the indirect tax administration.

Therefore the Supreme Court directed Union of India and GST Council to issue advisory / instructions / recommendations to the respective States regarding implementation of the system of electronic (digital) generation of a DIN in the indirect tax administration, which is already being implemented by the States of Karnataka and Kerala. The Supreme Court also wanted to impress upon the concerned States to consider implementing the system for electronic (digital) generation of a DIN for all communications sent by the State Tax Officers to taxpayers and other concerned persons so as to bring in transparency and accountability in the indirect tax administration at the earliest.

Andhra Pradesh Government issued a circular in this regard, vide No. 2 of 2022, dated 01.08.2022 to implement the generation and quoting of DIN on any communication issued by the Officers of the Department.

 

By: Mr.M. GOVINDARAJAN - September 1, 2022

 

 

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