NEW DELHI : If the taxman is not satisfied with your submission in the Income Tax Returns (ITR) or has a question for you, the Income Tax department might send you a notice, letter or in serious cases even summon you. Now taxpayers have been given the facility to verify the validity of all such letters as any communication made to the assessee without a Documentation Identification Number (DIN) is treated as invalid by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
This means you need not respond to or act upon any communication from which a DIN is missing. In case if you have any doubts on the authenticity of the letter you can even check all details online on the income tax department's website.
To improve accountability and transparency in the functioning of the I-T department, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has started a new rule under which no communication should be made to any taxpayer without a computer-generated DIN.
Revenue Secretary Dr Ajay Bhushan Pandey has made it clear that from now onwards any correspondence made by any official of the income tax department would be treated as invalid and shall be treated as "non-est factum" or deemed to be as if it has never been issued.
Only under exceptional circumstances can a manual communication be issued but even those would have to be uploaded and regularised on the system portal within 15 days of its issuance.
How to check validity of income tax notice:
1) Go to the Income Tax department's e-filing website and click on "Notice/Order Issued by ITD" button on the left side.
2) This section gives you two options to search and authenticate any notice or order issued by the I-T department. You can search either by document number or by giving your PAN, assessment year, notice section, month and year of issue.
3) Searching by document number is the easiest way but just in case you don't have it in hand, then you will have the second option. But you must know the notice or order was issued which which section and on which month and year.
4) Once you give all the details, as shown above, you will be able to verify the authenticity of the document.