In order to further bring in transparency & accountability in GST & Customs department’s communication with the taxpayers the mention of DIN i.e. Document Identification Number has been made mandatory.
The Central Government vide its Circular No. 37/2019-Cus., dated 5-11-2019 has been implementing a system for electronic generation of a Document Identification Number (DIN) for all communications like Notices/Orders/Search authorization /Summons /Inspection notice e.t.c sent by its officers to taxpayers.
This would create a digital directory for maintaining a proper audit trail of such series of the communications issued by the Tax officer to the Taxpayers. Taxpayers of such communication can now access the CBIC Portal, a digital facility to ascertain the genuineness of the communication issued by the authorities.
As per the above Circular any specified communication which does not bear the electronically generated DIN shall be treated as invalid and shall be deemed to have never been issued to the taxpayer. This has been canvassed many times by the Finance Minister, Government of India in various forums.
However despite the ruling there is no system of (DIN) generation on any communication issued by the State GST Officers at the State Government level to the taxpayers.
Many times, Officers arbitrarily and unauthorizedly issue enquiry letters to taxpayers thereby causing serious ambiguity to the tax paying community.
The Supreme Court recently in the case of Pradeep Goyal Vs UOI 2022 (63) G.S.T.L. 286 (S.C.) in the larger public interest and to enhance good governance directed the GST Council to issue Orders to all the States to implement generation of a DIN in the GST for all the communications issued by the State GST Officers to the taxpayers.
I believe that the fruits of GST implementation are not yet fully realized/achieved because of the way in which the GST Law is being implemented by the GST officers at the ground level.
In many cases the insensitive approach of the State GST officers in conducting search, seizure & inspections especially against a honest taxpayer negatively affects the Government of India’s ease of doing business mantra.
Implementing DIN in all the communication forms to taxpayers is an important step towards maintaining the genuineness and authenticity of the communication which needs to be adhered to.
(The writer is a Chartered Accountant, Partner in HIREGAGE & Associates. He is also CMA, LL.V specialized and domain expert in Customs, Goods & Service Tax Law, Foreign Trade Policy, EOU’s & SEZs.Views are personal)