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Appeal time- authenticate notices and order with PAN, AY, Date, and Type of document. In case of no document found (say authentication failure) suitable ground of appeal can be preferred.

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Appeal time- authenticate notices and order with PAN, AY, Date, and Type of document. In case of no document found (say authentication failure) suitable ground of appeal can be preferred.
April 30, 2021
All Articles by: DEV KUMAR KOTHARI       View Profile
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Earlier article:                                         

Before filing appeals and reply to other notices – check validity of document like notices, orders, letter etc. if valid document is not found in search document- can be regarded as non est. An Article By: - CA DEV KUMAR KOTHARI January 16, 2020

In above  article author had discussed about specific authentication of notices, letters and orders issued by income tax officers. There are two search criteria provided.

In search with DIN very general standard and vague result appears. Like  “document has been issued by a Tax authority”.

Who issued , to whom issued, when issued and for which proceedings it was issued is not provided in search result.

 In search results with DIN there is no mention of assesse, PAN, AY, type of document, date and designation of authority who issued the document. Therefore, search results with DIN are general and vague. Therefore the same is not binding on assesse. Particularly so, when there is specific search facility for authentication.  

Search with DIN only says that document has been issued by a Tax authority. This is vague and not specific to anything.  It is not specific to any assesse, PAN,AY, date , type and authority. Therefore it can be said that this result is not binding on assesse if  assesse and event specific search does not show any document issued in that regard.

Specific search:

The other search provided is with PAN of assessee, assessment year, Date and  type. This search is with exact specifications of document issued by income tax authority. Therefore, search result with these  criteria is to be preferred by assessee and department both.

During course of such authentication by search on the portal of IT department, it is noticed that in many cases no document is found with the specific search criteria. The result was “ no document  found with search criteria”

Issue and service of notice, order letter is one thing and authentication is another:

Any notice, order, letter can be issued in different manners like through email, serving hard copy by post or through  messenger,  or placing the same in departments portal in ‘my account’ designated for assessee.

That only tells about issue and service of notice or order etc.

However, authentication is another very important aspect. Any notice, order or letter issued by authority may not have a legal force unless it is authenticated in specific search.

On query raised by assessee one of Ld. AO replied that notice has been issued y uploading the same in portal.

There is no denial that notice was issued and serviced in portal or by email. What is important that the notice or order, if not found in specific search then it can be regarded as worthless or non-est.

In such circumstances  a legal ground for lack of jurisdiction can be raised in first appeal itself.

It is an important factual, procedural and legal aspect that the notice or order must stand test of authentication, in the system provided on the website of income tax department.

Save documents for search and result:

Webpages for search and result pages must be downloaded and saved. These must be done in two types:

Take webpage print for each search page and result page as PDF document. And

Take screen shots of search page and result page for notice starting from S.143.2 to assessment order and demand notice in a continuous sheet and  save it as word document and also print it as PDF document. These can be attached with appeal memo with statement of facts and grounds of appeal.

These can be useful in case the Ld. AO has made a high pitched and unreasonable assessment. In due course of time we will know views of appellate forums about this interesting aspect of documentation and proceedings under income tax law.

 Author is of considered preliminary view that unless a notice or order is authentic with specific search provided on the website of income tax department for this purpose, the document  can be challenged as invalid, not binding as  non est.

In case appeal has already been filed, additional ground can be preferred, this bine on issue of legality of proceeding, will  hopefully be admitted by appellate authority at any stage..



By: DEV KUMAR KOTHARI - April 30, 2021



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