New Delhi: After years of labour, the IncomeTax department has finally got a new technology tool to checkthe menace of duplicate PAN cards which also allows the taxmanto 'kill' the second one.
An ambitious electronic smart platform called the IncomeTax Business Application-Permanent Account Number (ITBA-PAN)has been operationalised by the department which will help thetaxman and PAN issuing intermediaries identify such duplicatenumbers every time a new application for generation of thefresh IT department-issued unique identity reaches theirportals.
"The department earlier used to check against duplicityof PAN in a manual fashion which was not foolproof but the newelectronic system is very accurate," a senior official said.
In cases of old PAN cards, he said, however, the manualsystem has to go on.
"There are not many such cases in the old system. Thoseare being weeded out as and when information is obtained," hesaid.
The department, in order to ensure that no entity is ableto evade tax by way of holding two PAN cards, has been tryingfor a number of years to find a smart tool to check themenace. There have been numerous instances in the past whenwhile probing tax evasion and black money cases, investigatorsfound duplicate PAN cards were used to perpetrate the economicfraud.
"The new process will help identification and surrenderof duplicate PAN allotted to a person so that further use ofthe same duplicate PAN allotted to a PAN holder could bestopped," a recent communication, accessed by PTI, from thesystems wing of the department said informing field offices ofthe department about the new technology upgrade.
The new system, upon finding on the ITBA-PAN platformthat a duplicate PAN exists, will direct the taxman to informapplicants to approach their respective assessing officer andsurrender the duplicate identity and, in case the applicantdoes not do so, the system will check the bonafides andautomatically 'kill' the duplicate identity.
As per latest data, while there are over 24.37 crore PANsregistered in the country, there are no accurate figures onthe number of duplicate ones.