No more Duplicate PAN Possible – There have been numerous instances in the past when while probing tax evasion and black money cases, investigators found duplicate PAN cards being used.
After years of labour, the IT department has finally got a new technology tool to check duplicate PAN cards, allowing them to ‘kill’ it.
An ambitious electronic platform called the Income Tax Business Application-Permanent Account Number (ITBA-PAN) has been operationalised. It will help the taxman and PAN issuing intermediaries identify such duplicate numbers every time a new application for generation of the I-T department-issued unique identity reaches their portals.
“The department earlier used to check against duplicity of PAN in a manual fashion which was not foolproof. The new electronic system is very accurate,” a senior official said.
In old PAN cards, he said, the manual system would go on.
“There are not many such cases in the old system. Those are being weeded out as and when information is obtained,” he said.
The IT department, to ensure that no entity is able to evade tax by holding two PAN cards, has been trying for years to find a smart tool to check this.
There have been numerous instances in the past when while probing tax evasion and black money cases, investigators found duplicate PAN cards being used.
“The new process will help identification and surrender of duplicate PAN allotted to a person so that further use of the same duplicate PAN allotted to a PAN holder could be stopped,” a recent communication, accessed by PTI, from the systems wing of the department said informing field offices of the department about the new technology upgrade.
The new system, upon finding on the ITBA-PAN platform that a duplicate PAN exists, will direct the taxman to inform applicants to approach their respective assessing officer and surrender the duplicate identity and, in case the applicant does not do so, the system will check the bonafides and automatically ‘kill’ the duplicate identity.
As per latest data, while there are over 24.37 crore PANs registered in the country, there are no accurate figures on the number of duplicate ones. PAN is a ten-digit alphanumeric number issued in the form of a laminated card by the IT department to any person, firm or entity.
A clean and error free PAN database is the need of the hour for the department which is trying to bring more taxpayers in the tax net and also curb generation of black money.
Government had late last year made quoting PAN mandatory for several transactions, including purchase of jewellery above Rs 2 lakh, since the beginning of this year.
The effort to popularise the use of PAN in financial transactions, the CBDT had said, is “expected to be useful in widening the tax net by non-intrusive methods.
“They (new PAN rules) are also expected to help in curbing black money and move towards a cashless economy,” the Central Board of Direct Taxes had said.