PAN must for Rs 50K cash to settle hotel bills, fgn airfare

PAN must for Rs 50K cash to settle hotel bills, fgn airfare
 Quoting PAN will be mandatory from January 1 for cash payment made to settle hotels bills or for buying foreign travel tickets of Rs 50,000 as the government tightened disclosure norms to check generation of domestic black money.

The PAN requirement for non-luxury cash transactions will be Rs 2 lakh. However, in a relief to small investors, the requirement of furnishing PAN for making post office deposit of over Rs 50,000 has been dispensed with.

PAN will also be mandatory on purchase of immovable property of Rs 10 lakh. This will be a relief to small home buyers as previously the government had proposed to make PAN quoting mandatory for purchase or sale of Rs 5 lakh.

Unveiling the new norms, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said purchasing of jewellery or bullion, a major source of blackmoney, quoting of PAN would be required if the sum involved is Rs 2 lakh per transaction. Currently, it is required for transaction of Rs 5 lakh and above.

PAN would also be mandatory for cash payments of more than Rs 50,000 for cash cards or prepaid instruments as well as for acquiring shares of unlisted companies for Rs 1 lakh and above.

It has also been mandatory for opening all bank accounts except Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana accounts, he said.

The relief also includes discontinuation of requirement of PAN for installation of basic landline or cellphone connection.

In Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government will soon issue a notification making quoting of PAN mandatory for all cash and card transactions beyond Rs 2 lakh.

The limit is double of Rs 1 lakh that he had proposed in his Budget for 2015-16.
"An issue is being raised with regard to black money.... Very shortly we will be placing the notification that if you deal in cash of more than Rs 2 lakh, a PAN number would be necessary," he said replying to debate in the Lok Sabha on Supplementary Demands for Grants.

Adhia said a distinction has been made in case of hotel and foreign travel bills of Rs 50,000 as they are luxury spending.

All other cash transactions would attract the PAN requirement if they are above Rs 2 lakh.

The Rs 2 lakh limit for disclosure of PAN card is an "interim measure" and ultimate goal is to lower it Rs 1 lakh, Adhia said.

To bring balance between burden of compliance on legitimate transactions and the need to capture information relating to high value transaction, he said, the money limits have now been raised to Rs 10 lakh from Rs 5 lakh for sale or purchase of immovable property, to Rs 50,000 from Rs 25,000 in the case of hotel or restaurant bills paid at any one time, and to Rs 1 lakh from Rs 50,000 for purchase or sale of shares of an unlisted company.
The changes will take effect from January 1, 2016.

Adhia said all other regulation for quoting of PAN like making cash deposit of more than Rs 50,000 or purchase of bank draft/pay orders/bankers cheque of equal denomination on a single day, payment of life insurance premium of Rs 50,000 on a year will continue as previously.

There has been a relaxation in case of immovable property as previously it was proposed to make PAN mandatory for purchase or sale of Rs 5 lakh.

In keeping with the government's thrust on financial inclusion, opening of a no-frills bank account such as a Jan Dhan account will not require PAN. Other than that, the requirement of PAN applies to opening of all bank accounts including in co-operative banks.

"The government is committed to curbing the circulation of black money and widening of tax base," Adhia said. "To collect information on certain types of transactions from third parties in a non-intrusive manner, the Income-Tax Rules require quoting of PAN where the transactions exceed a specified limit."

The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Black Money had recommended that quoting of PAN should be made mandatory for all sales and purchase of goods and services where the payment exceeds Rs 1 lakh.

This was also reflected in Jaitley's budget speech on February 28.
"The government has since received numerous representations from various quarters regarding the burden of compliance this proposal would entail. Considering the representations, it has been decided that quoting of PAN will be required for transactions of an amount exceeding Rs 2 lakh regardless of the mode of payment," he said.

The changes in the rules, he said, are expected to be useful in widening the tax net by non-intrusive methods. "They are also expected to help in curbing black money and move towards a cashless economy."

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