Have you received a notice from the Income Tax department? You can now check the authenticity of Income Tax orders or notices issued to you. The Income Tax department’s e-filing website now allows taxpayers to check if they have been issued a fake notice or order. Taxpayers can check the authenticity of notices using two options: the Document Number or by using PAN, assessment year, Notice Section, Month & Year of Issue. The last date to file your income tax return is 31st August, 2019.

The CBDT has announced in a circular that from this year, any notice that the IT department issues will carry a computer-generated Document Identification Number (DIN). The circular states that income tax notices issued after 1 October will have DIN. In a bid to incorporate digitisation in the IT department, the CBDT’s move hopes to improve transparency by the introduction of DIN and also bring down the processing time and enhance accountability of the tax department towards taxpayers.

(Also read: ITR filing: How to check Income Tax return status online)

Steps to check a fake IT notice:

  • Visit the Income Tax e-filling portal - incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in
  • Click on ‘Notice/order issued by ITD’ under the ‘Authenticate’ quick links
  • Users can confirm the status of IT notices by either using the option of document number or PAN, assessment year, month and Year of issue or notice
  • Enter the captcha code and click on Submit
  • If the notice or order issued to you is genuine, it will be displayed on the website. The message should say: ‘Yes, Notice is valid and issued by Income Tax Authority’

(Also read: ITR filing: Penalties on ITRs filed after August 31, 2019 deadline)

The IT department usually issues five types of notices: routine, scrutiny, show cause, prosecution or notice seeking details of income or assets outside India. Generally, routine notices do not require a response unless you may have accidentally provided wrong information in your ITR. For each tax notice, a particular response procedure has to be followed. Failing to comply with tax notices, may end up in a penalty or prosecution, depending on the case.