CBDT makes digital records mandatory for all I-T Dept communications

The Central Board of Direct taxes has mandated that almost all notices and orders of the Income Tax Department have to be generated electronically on the Income Tax Business Application (ITBA) platform.

This is to ensure that no communication is issued manually, without maintaining a proper audit trail of such communication, a finance ministry release stated. 
CBDT said there have been some instances in which notices, orders, summons, letters or other correspondences were found to have been issued manually, without maintaining a proper audit trail of such communication.
In order to prevent such instances and to maintain proper audit trail of all communication, the CBDT has now laid down parameters specifying the manner in which any communication issued by any income-tax authority relating to assessment, appeals, orders, statutory or otherwise, exemptions, enquiry, investigation, verification of information, penalty, prosecution, rectification, approval etc to the assessee or any other person will be dealt with. 
All such communication issued on or after 1 October 2019 should carry a computer-generated Document Identification Number (DIN) duly quoted in the body of such communication, CBDT said.
CBDT has also specified exceptional circumstances where the communication may be issued manually but only after recording reasons in writing and with the prior written approval of the chief commissioner / director general of Income Tax concerned. In cases where manual communication is required to be issued, the reason for issue of manual communication without DIN has to be specified along with the date of obtaining written approval of the chief commissioner / director general of Income Tax in a particular format. Any communication which is not in conformity with the prescribed guidelines will be treated as invalid and will be deemed to have never been issued. 
Further, CBDT has also laid down the timelines and procedure by which such communication issued manually will have to be regularised and intimated to the Principal Director General of Income-tax (Systems).
In addition to the above, in all pending assessment proceedings, where notices were issued manually, earlier, all such cases would be identified and the notices so sent would be uploaded on ITBA by 31 October 2019.
CBDT said this is another step towards better delivery of taxpayer services while ensuring accountability in official dealings.