Centre links PAN and Aadhaar to fight black money

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By Shoaib Ahmad Khan,

New Delhi: Government’s recent decision to make Aadhaar linkage compulsory for PAN card is seen as another step to increase the tax base and to curb black money. The government’s argument is that people try to hide their identities or create fake identities by making multiple  PAN cards.

According to Yuthika Agrawal, faculty at the Economics Department of Jamia Millia Islamia, “Once the Aadhaar linkage is done, filing of income tax return will be easy and smooth. This step will weed out many fake or duplicate cards “.

With April new financial year starts and people get busy filing their income tax return. A tax return is the tax form used to report income and file income tax with the authorities in India.

Sumit Agrawal, a charted accountant by profession says that only 10 percent of people who hold PAN cards, file income tax returns(ITRs). There are many benefits of filing ITR like loans from bank, applying for government tenders, to claim income tax return etc.

Shamshad Alam, who works with a MNC told that the digital transactions and linkage of cards with aadhaar will bring more people under the tax net

By making multiple PAN cards one can use one card to show certain transactions to pay taxes and by using another card he/she can conceal other transactions to save taxes. A press release by PIB (Press Information Bureau) stated that almost 96 percentage of PAN cards were issued under individual categories, and most of the fake cards were found under this category. In recent years governments have taken many actions like KYC(know your customer) to clean the duplicate or fake cards.

Prime Minister Modi set a new target to increase tax payer base to 10 crore from current 5.34 crore while addressing a annual conference of tax administer last year in June. Once the linkage will be done then government can easily track transactions done by anyone, and those multiple PAN cards will became invalid.

Government projects Aadhaar as a solution to weed out black money and corruption. An Aadhaar card is a biometric identification which takes finger prints and retinal scan to generate the unique identification, a one-time identification number for all residents of india.

Government says everyone has to link his/her pan card with Aadhaar by 30 June otherwise PAN cards will become invalid. For doing this, one has to visit the income tax website.

As the linking process starts many are also facing unique issues. In PAN card one has to furnish his/her full name whereas Aadhaar does not insist on doing so. “As their details on both the cards are not matching, people are not able to link PAN card and Aadhaar number,” Sumit Agrawal added.

He further said that to register for Aadhaar one needs to physically visit Aadhaar centers to register themselves. This creates problems for old age people who do not have Aadhaar number.

Government needs to solve the practical problems which are arising out of the linkage of PAN card and Aadhaar number. It is imperative to make the whole system simple so that the common man can understand all these issues and doesn’t have to go to charted accountant.

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