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More than one million permanent account numbers (PANs) were deleted or de-activated by the government, in a move to check fake identities. Reportedly, as on July 27, 11,44,211 duplicate PANS have been identified, said Indian Express. PAN is the key identifier of taxable entity and aggregator of all financial transactions undertaken by one person.
As per government rules, a person cannot be registered with more than one PAN number. The Indian Express reported that the government also detected fake PAN cards which were allotted to non-existing individuals or to people who have submitted false information about themselves.
How to check if your PAN is still active
1. Visit the Income Tax e-filing portal – www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in
3. The website will take you to a new page where you will be asked to enter – name, gender, religion, date of birth, registered mobile number and click ‘Submit’.
4. Enter the OTP or one-time password received on the registered mobile number and click on Validate.
5. If your PAN is valid, it will show as ‘Active’ under the remarks column.
PANs were deactivated during 2004-2007 too
An excercise for de-duplication of PAN was conducted during 2004-2007, when Manmohan Singh-led UPA government was in power. The facility to delete or de-activate the PAN is available with the Assessing Officer through application software.
How did the government track fake/duplicate PANs?
In the current financial year (till June end) the income tax department conducted searches in 102 groups, seizing assets worth Rs 103 crore. Referring to the launch of ‘Operation Clean Money’ on January 31, Gangwar said about 1.8 million persons whose cash transactions did not appear in line with their tax profile were identified and approached through email/SMS.
Over 9.27 lakh responses were received giving information on 13.33 lakh accounts involving cash deposits of around Rs 2.89 lakh crore.
“Advance data analytics tools were deployed which further identified 5.56 lakhs new cases and about 1 lakh those cases in which either partial or no response was received in the earlier phase. Besides, about 200 high risk clusters of persons were identified for appropriate action,” the minister added.
The deactivation of PANs also comes as a reminder as the last date to link your PAN with Aadhaar is August 31. Here is how you can use the SMS facility to link Aadhaar with PAN
Send SMS to 567678 or 56161 in following format:
UIDPAN<SPACE><12 digit Aadhaar><Space><10 digit PAN>
UIDPAN 111133333321 AAAAAEEEEE
People can also visit the official e-filing website of the department to link the two identities, in both the cases– identical names in the two databases or in case where there is a minor mismatch.
Linking the two numbers is the key to “seamlessly avail online, a world of income tax facilities”, the I-T department said.
1. Log on to incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. (This step is not compulsory. You can directly jump to Step 2, if you do not wish to log in)
2. Click on ‘Link Aadhaar‘
4. Enter captcha and click on ‘Link Aadhaar’.
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