Introduction: In today’s digital age, where communication channels have expanded exponentially, it is imperative for taxpayers to exercise caution and vigilance against fraudulent activities. One concerning issue that has recently emerged is the circulation of counterfeit income tax notices. This article aims to shed light on this growing problem and provide essential guidance to taxpayers on how they can protect themselves.
Understanding the Threat: Fraudsters have become increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to deceive taxpayers. They create fake income tax notices that closely resemble genuine ones, often replicating official logos and using language that mimics authentic communication. These deceptive notices are commonly transmitted via email, text messages, or other digital platforms, necessitating the need for taxpayers to exercise caution and adopt preventive measures.
Verification Process: To combat the menace of counterfeit notices, taxpayers should prioritize the verification of any received communication. The following steps are crucial in ensuring the authenticity of income tax notices:
1. Unique Document Identification Number (DIN): Genuine income tax notices are assigned a Unique 20 Digit Document Identification Number (DIN) by the tax authorities. Taxpayers should meticulously examine the notice for the presence of this distinctive identifier.
Additionally, legitimate notices often incorporate a barcode containing the DIN, further confirming their authenticity.
2. e-Filing Portal Verification: The official e-Filing portal provided by the tax authorities serves as a reliable platform for verifying the authenticity of income tax notices. Taxpayers can navigate to the “Authenticate Notice/Order issued by ITD” in the quick link section on the income tax e-filing portal. By inputting the relevant details, they can determine whether the notice is genuine or counterfeit.
3. The step by step process to authenticate the notice is as follows:-https://www.incometax.gov.in/iec/foportal/help/how-to-authenticate-notice
4. The link to verify the notice or order issued by the income tax department without log-in is as follows:- https://eportal.incometax.gov.in/iec/foservices/#/pre-login/authenticate-notice-issued-by-itd
5. This facility is for both registered and unregistered tax-payers.
Conclusion: By adopting thorough verification procedures and remaining cautious, taxpayers can effectively protect themselves from falling victim to fraudulent income tax notices. Collaboration between tax authorities, taxpayers, and tax professionals plays a pivotal role in raising awareness and combating this issue. Ensuring the dissemination of accurate information and promoting preventive measures will contribute to a secure and trustworthy tax environment for all stakeholders.