Come February, applicants for permanent account numbers (PAN) will have to produce original documents related to identification, address and date of birth.
According to a statement issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the procedure for PAN allotment will change from February 3.
“Every PAN applicant has to submit self-attested copies of proof of identity, proof of address (POA) and date of birth (DOB) documents and also produce original documents of such POI/POA/DOB documents, for verification at the counter of PAN facilitation centres,” the statement said.
Currently, while document regarding date of birth is not required when applying for a PAN card, there is also no need to carry along original documents at the time of submitting the application.
The statement added that the copies of identity proof, address proof and date of birth have to be attached with PAN application form. This will be verified vis-a-vis the original documents at the time of submission. It does not indicate how the staff of companies with no particular experience will be able to glean the veracity or otherwise of the documents provided. Tax experts said that the change will make it more difficult for applicants to obtain a PAN card. Amarpal Chadha, tax partner, EY, said, “This will make it more difficult to obtain PAN, particularly for foreigners. People may not be comfortable sharing original documents with consultants. There are practical challenges which may unfold in the coming days and we hope for some more clarity on the same”.
PAN is a 10-digit alphanumeric number issued in the form of a laminated card by the Income Tax department to any person or entity applying for it or to whom the department has allotted a number without an application. An applicant can obtain a PAN card by paying a fee of Rs 85 along with service tax in cash, at PAN facilitation centre. So far, there are 14 crore PAN card-holders in India.