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Document Identification Number: Check And Authenticate Income Tax Notice

Updated on: 25 Oct, 2023 03:51 PM

Have you recently received an Income Tax Notice or Order and are unsure about its validity? Worry not! The Income Tax Department has implemented a system featuring computer-generated "Document Identification Number (DIN)" to help you verify any communication you receive from them.

Starting from 1st October 2019, all official communications from the Income Tax Department pertaining to matters such as inquiries, investigations, assessments, appeals, orders, penalties, information verification, rectifications, and prosecutions will include a unique DIN. Here's how you can leverage DIN to confirm the authenticity of notices and orders issued by the Income Tax Department.

What is a Document Identification Number (DIN)?

The Document Identification Number (DIN) is a distinctive code established by the Income Tax Department in India. This innovative system serves as a set of official guidelines designed to bolster transparency, accountability, and efficiency within the realm of tax administration.

Under the provisions of this circular, every official communication emanating from the Income Tax Department, dated on or after the aforementioned circular's issuance date, is mandated to incorporate a DIN. It's imperative to note that communications lacking this unique identifier are considered void and hold no legal standing.

The introduction of DIN has indeed brought standardization and enhanced security to the process of issuing and receiving notices from the Income Tax Department.

Under this system, every communication from the department, including notices, letters, orders, and summonses, is now required to carry a unique 15-digit alphanumeric code. This measure not only facilitates tracking and monitoring but also significantly reduces the risk of fraudulent or unauthorized communications, providing both taxpayers and tax authorities with a more secure and efficient means of correspondence.

Benefits of DIN

  • Enhanced Transparency: DIN brings transparency to the communication process between the Income Tax Department and taxpayers. Each document or communication is assigned a unique identifier, making it easier to track and verify the legitimacy of official notices and orders.
  • Increased Accountability: DIN helps establish accountability within the tax administration system. It ensures that every communication is traceable to a specific source, reducing the possibility of unauthorized or fraudulent correspondence.
  • Reduced Risk of Fraud: Before the implementation of DIN, the lack of standardized identification numbers made it easier for fraudulent notices and communications to be issued. With DIN, it becomes more challenging for unauthorized parties to send fake or misleading documents.
  • Efficiency: The DIN system streamlines the process of document management for both the tax authorities and taxpayers. It enables efficient tracking and retrieval of documents, reducing administrative burdens.
  • Validity Verification: Taxpayers can easily verify the validity of notices and orders received from the Income Tax Department by checking the DIN on the official website. This feature provides assurance that the communication is legitimate.
  • Standardization: DIN introduces a standardized format for identification numbers, making it easier for both tax authorities and taxpayers to understand and work with the system.
  • Improved Record-Keeping: The DIN system facilitates better record-keeping for both parties. Tax authorities can maintain a clear record of all communications, while taxpayers can maintain records of the notices and orders they receive.
  • Legal Clarity: The requirement that communications without a DIN are considered invalid provides legal clarity. Taxpayers can confidently respond to valid communications and disregard fraudulent ones.
  • Reduced Errors: The use of DIN reduces the likelihood of errors in document management, as each document is uniquely identified. This minimizes the risk of mishandling or misplacing important tax-related documents.
  • Streamlined Appeals and Compliance: DIN simplifies the process of managing appeals and ensuring compliance with tax regulations. Taxpayers can more effectively respond to official notices and orders, leading to smoother interactions with tax authorities.
  • Digital Transition: The DIN system aligns with the broader trend of digitization and e-governance in tax administration. It encourages the use of electronic communication and reduces the reliance on physical paperwork.

How To Check And Authenticate Income Tax Notice with the help of DIN?

You can authenticate the notice/order/letter issued by the income tax authority on the e-filing portal. Let us understand to verify the same.

  • Step-1 Log in to the e-Filing Portal. On the homepage of the income tax portal, under the quick links, click on Authenticate notice/ order issued by the Income Tax Department. e-Filing Portal
  • Step 2- You can authenticate using:
    • PAN, document type, assessment year, issue date, and mobile number (for notice/order/letter issued for AY 2011-12 and subsequent years only)
    • Document Identification Number and mobile number (for all assessment years)
    Document Identification Method 1- Using PAN, AY, Document type, and Date of Issue. These can be used only for AY 2011-12 and subsequent years. The following screen will appear as mentioned in the screenshot for reference. Fill in the details and click on continue- subsequent years
  • Step -3 If method one is used, on entering the mobile number, you will get an OTP. Enter the OTP and Validate- OTP and Validate
  • Step -4 If any notice is issued, then the following screen will appear - notice is issued
  • Step 5- If there is no notice for the particular time period, then the following screen will appear - If there is no notice for the particular Method 2- Another alternative is to authenticate using DIN and mobile number. Enter DIN and mobile number and continue. You will receive an OTP. Validate using OTP. authenticate using DIN authenticate using DIN
  • Step 6- If any notice has been issued, then the following screen will appear - If any notice has been issued
  • Step 5- If no notice exists then following screen will appear - If no notice exists

Tip: If the income tax departmental officers fail to comply with the requirement of quoting of Document Identification Number, then any such communication would be treated as invalid. It shall be deemed that the officer has never issued such communication.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q- What is a Document Identification Number (DIN)?

A Document Identification Number (DIN) is a unique identification number assigned to documents issued by the income tax authority in India. It is used to track and authenticate various communications, including notices, orders, and letters.

Q- Why is DIN important?

DIN is crucial for ensuring the authenticity and accountability of documents issued by the income tax authority. It helps taxpayers verify the legitimacy of communication/notice received from tax authorities.

Q- Who is required to have a DIN?

Officers of the income tax department who issue documents such as notices, orders, or letters to taxpayers are required to quote a DIN on these documents. Taxpayers themselves do not have DINs.

Q- How can I verify a document using a DIN?

To verify a document using a DIN, log in to the e-Filing portal of the Income Tax Department, enter the relevant details (PAN, Assessment Year, Document Number, Date of Issuance), and generate an OTP. After entering the OTP, the document's authenticity can be confirmed on the portal.

Q- What if a document does not have a valid DIN?

If a document issued by the income tax authority lacks a valid DIN, it may be considered invalid, and its authenticity can be challenged. It's essential to verify the document's authenticity using the e-Filing portal.

Q- Can DIN be used to verify any type of document?

DIN is primarily used to verify income tax-related documents, such as notices, orders, and letters, issued by the income tax authority.

Q- Is it necessary to authenticate all documents using DIN?

Yes, officers of the income tax department are required to quote a DIN on all documents issued to taxpayers. Authentication using DIN helps maintain transparency and accountability.

Q- Can I access documents with a valid DIN online?

Yes, once a document is authenticated using the DIN on the e-filing portal, you can access and review it online. It is typically available in PDF format for viewing and downloading.

Q- What should I do if I suspect a document's authenticity?

If you have concerns about the authenticity of a document received from the income tax authority, you should verify it using the e-filing portal. If the document lacks a valid DIN or raises suspicions, you may consider seeking legal advice.

Q- Can I request clarification or dispute a document's contents if necessary?

Yes, if you have questions or concerns about the contents of a document, you can communicate with the income tax authority for clarification or follow the appropriate legal procedures to dispute the matter.

CA Abhishek Soni
CA Abhishek Soni

Abhishek Soni is a Chartered Accountant by profession & entrepreneur by passion. He is the co-founder & CEO of Tax2win is amongst the top 25 emerging startups of Asia and authorized ERI by the Income Tax Department. In the past, he worked in EY and comes with wide industry experience from telecom, retail to manufacturing to entertainment where he has handled various national and international assignments.