CA Kapil M Gupta

Kapil Gupta

PAN card Importance and Scams (Permanent Account Number) – Care About Your Identification:

Friends’, “PAN card” is something which becomes one of the key document to reveal individual identity. Let us first understand that how PAN card is important for card holder to safe guard public

money from many cheaters in the society.The importance of PAN card has grown over the years, and it is today an essential part of our lives. The most vital purpose of allotting PAN to an entity is for the purpose of identification and to track all the related monetary information of that entity. Earlier the significance of PAN was merely for filing income tax returns.

panThe primary objective of PAN is to use a universal identification key to track financial transactions that might have a taxable component to prevent tax evasion. The PAN number remains unaffected by change of address throughout India.

Who must apply for PAN?

  • Anybody who earns a taxable income in India, including foreign nationals who pay taxes here
  • Anybody who runs a business (be it retail, services or consultancy) that had total sales, turnover or gross receipt exceeding Rs 5 lakh in the previous financial year

Over the period of time, PAN is used in dealings with the stock markets, banks account opening and purchase of real estate, vehicles, loans. Today, PAN has started finding use in unconventional areas which are as follows: –

Sr. No.Nature of TransactionMandatory Quoting of PAN
Old requirementNew requirement (w.e.f. 1st Jan’2016)
1.Immovable propertySale/ purchase valued at Rs.5 lakh or more

i.  Sale/ purchase exceeding Rs.10 lakhs;

ii.   Properties valued by Stamp Valuation authority at amount exceeding Rs.10 lakhs will also need PAN.

2Motor vehicle (other than two wheeler)All sales/purchasesNo change
3.Time depositTime deposit exceeding Rs. 50,000/- with a banking company

i. Deposits with Co-op banks, Post Office, Nidhi, NBFC companies will also need PAN;

ii. Deposits aggregating to more than Rs.5 lakhs   during the year will also need PAN

4.Deposit with Post Office Savings BankExceeding Rs. 50,000/-Discontinued
5.Sale or purchase of securitiesContract for sale/purchase of a value exceeding Rs.1 lakhNo change
6.Installation of telephone/ cellphone connectionsAll instancesDiscontinued
7.Hotel/restaurant bill(s)Exceeding Rs. 25,000/- at any one time (by any mode of payment)Cash payment exceeding Rs. 50,000/-
8.Cash purchase of bank drafts/ pay orders/ banker’s chequesAmount aggregating to Rs. 50,000/- or more during any one dayExceeding Rs. 50,000/- on any one day
9.Cash deposit with banking companyCash aggregating to Rs. 50,000/- or more during any one dayCash deposit exceeding Rs. 50,000/- in a day
10.Foreign travelCash payment in connection with foreign travel of an amount exceeding Rs. 25,000/- at any one time (including fare, payment to travel agent, purchase of forex)Cash payment in connection with foreign travel or purchase of foreign currency of an amount exceeding Rs. 50,000/- at any one time (including fare, payment to travel agent)
11.Credit cardApplication to banking company/ any other company/institution for credit cardNo change.Co-operative banks also to comply.
12.Mutual fund unitsPayment of Rs.50,000/- or more for purchasePayment exceeding Rs. 50,000/- for purchase
13.Shares of companyPayment of Rs.50,000/-  or more to a company for acquiring its shares

i. Opening a demat account;

ii.Purchase or sale of shares of an unlisted company for an amount exceeding Rs.1 lakh per transaction.

14.Debentures/ bondsPayment of Rs. 50,000/- or more to a company/ institution for acquiring its debentures/ bondsPayment exceeding Rs. 50,000/-
15.RBI bondsPayment of Rs. 50,000/-or more to RBI for acquiring its bondsPayment exceeding Rs. 50,000/-
16.Life insurance premiumPayment of Rs. 50,000/- or more in a year as premium to an insurerPayment exceeding Rs. 50,000/- in a year
17.Purchases or sales of goods or services (including jewellery/bullion)No requirementPurchase/ sale of any goods or services exceeding Rs.2 lakhs per transaction
18.Cash cards/ prepaid instruments issued under Payment & Settlement ActNo requirementCash payment aggregating to more than Rs. 50,000 in a year

The significance of PAN cannot be questioned as this has become the primary document sought in all important legitimate dealings. It is seen that quoting or producing a copy of your PAN card is compulsory in practically every money transaction, and the same is not restricted to Income Tax dealings.

Do NRIs require PAN Card?

As PAN is required for any financial transaction in India, an NRI will need to have a PAN card if he has an income earned in India and need to file returns, if he wishes to invest in India. He/shecarries out banking transactions, if he purchases real estate or for any of transaction mentioned above.

Beware of PAN FRAUDS:

The increasing importance of PAN has increased the likeliness of PAN Card identity theft. The safeguarding of the physical copy of the PAN card no longer assures that your card is not being misused. As a majority of transactions demand a photocopy of your PAN card, or simply quoting the Permanent Account Number, it is very easy for your information to be misused for high ticket purchases or benami property transactions. A copy of your PAN card or simply its number can be quoted in transactions, which you are not even a part of.

Example of how your information can be misused:

1. Booking railway Tatkal tickets: Recently, a Consumer activist group revealed that the PAN card copy used in Railway ticket Tatkal bookings were misused by several jewellers. When an individual produces his PAN to book the Tatkal tickets, this information is fed in the Indian Railways system and also displayed on the ticket, reservation chart and train coaches. Unscrupulous jewellers steal this information from such public displays and use it to furnish tax collected details while they sell jewellery of very high value to high-net worth individuals who do not wish to produce their PAN. Hence it is advisable not to furnish PAN details while booking Tatkal tickets.

2. Applying for credit card:A PAN copy was being handed over by one of the individual to bank representative for applying new Credit card. This PAN was being misused at some other place and was sent to other states. As per the address mentioned in PAN records, a notice for non-payment of loan installment was being received by an individual from Bank which was fraudulently done by representative.

If this happens to you?

When your PAN card is illegally used, you may not even be aware of this for atleast 6 months after the wrong transaction. You can check for such benami transactions by going through your Form 26AS, which is a consolidated statement of tax deducted, along with other details. If you are a non-tax paying PAN card holder, you may not even be able to check this form. The Income Tax department will require the PAN card holder to prove that the transaction was not carried out by him, and also give details on his source of funds. This becomes very difficult and time-consuming. As a PAN card holder, you should take care while disclosing your PAN details to anyone. You must hand over only signed photocopies and try to reduce using PAN in all casual transactions as ID proof.

Conclusion:

Thus the PAN is a key document today and one should be superfluous careful while furnishing or mentioning the same.

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