Govt to tighten rules for obtaining PAN card from Feb 3

Applicant will have to produce original documents for verification

Govt to tighten rules for obtaining PAN card from Feb 3

To check growing incidents of acquiring Permanent Account Number (PAN) cards under false identities, the Finance Ministry has tightened rules for obtaining the 10-digit alphanumeric identity proof.

The process will undergo a change with effect from February 3 under which an applicant will have to produce original documents of proof of identity, address and date of birth for verification at the time of applying.

Copies of proof of identity, address and date of birth attached with PAN application forms will be checked against their original documents when applications are submitted at PAN facilitation centres, the Finance Ministry said.

The original documents, however, would be returned to applicants immediately after verification.

Though the ministry did not give any reason for change in the process of obtaining ID proof, experts say this has been done in the aftermath of rising incidents of frauds committed by a number of people using PAN cards under different identity.

Earlier, one had to furnish details such as proof of identity and proof of residence but it was not mandatory to produce the original documents for verification at the time of applying.

A consumer activist group had come out with the startling revelation of misuse of PAN card copies used in Tatkal bookings in the Railways.

Some jewellers stole the information and used it to furnish tax collected while selling jewellery of very high value to people who do not wish to produce their PAN.

Initially, the significance of PAN was restricted to filing income tax returns. But now PAN is compulsory in practically every transaction, be it stock markets, banks and purchase of real estate and vehicles. Any fraud results in a huge loss of revenue for the exchequer, said an analyst.

PAN was launched to estimate the total tax generated in the country so that the rate of taxation can be fixed properly, he added.

An applicant can obtain a PAN card by paying a fee of Rs 85, plus service tax, in cash at the facilitation centre.

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