The Unit Trust of India Investor Services Limited (UTI-ISL) has started despatching Income Tax Permanent Account Number (PAN) cards from Friday.
Getting the new PAN card
Application for PAN should be made in prescribed form (Form 49A) and submitted in any of the I-T PAN Service Centres set up and managed by UTIISL across the country.
I-T PAN Service Centres
From July 1, 2003, I-T PAN Service Centres have been set up in all cities or towns where I-T offices are located.
For further convenience of PAN applicants in major cities there will be more than one I-T PAN Service Centre.
Location and other details about I-T PAN Service Centres in any city can be obtained from local Income Tax Office or offices of UTI or UTIISL in that city or from Web site of the Income Tax department (http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in) or of UTIISL (http://www.utiisl.co.in).
These I-T PAN Service Centres shall supply and receive PAN applications on behalf of all Assessing Officers, assist PAN applicants to correctly fill up the applications, check documents to be submitted as proof of 'identity' and 'address' by the applicant and issue acknowledgment for correct and complete applications.
The I-T PAN Service Centres will not accept incomplete or incorrect applications.
The UTIISL has made arrangements to capture data from PAN applications and transmit it to the Income Tax Department.
The Income Tax department will allot PAN and send necessary data to UTIISL where PAN card will be printed and delivered to the applicant.
From October 1, 2003 I-T PAN Service Centres will also receive and process grievances arising out of errors or requests for changes in PAN data.
The new superior PAN card
The new PAN card is a superior card and in case of individual applicants it will carry a coloured photo-image. It is tamper proof and has built-in security features such as a hologram and UV line. These security features will thwart forgery of PAN cards.
For providing upgraded PAN services, UTIISL has been authorised to collect Rs 60 per application. New simplified PAN form will cost Rs 5.
The UTIISL has set up at least one counter in each of the 501 cities as requested by the Income Tax department. Most of these counters for PAN have been set up at I-T offices. In big cities, UTIISL has set up more counters.
Service counters have also been set up at 50 branches of UTI MF to handle PAN card customers.
The database on the information related to your PAN card remains with the government and UTIISL cannot use it for any other purpose.
Existing cards valid, but you can get a new one
The existing PAN cards would continue to be valid. It is optional for these PAN card holders to obtain the new plastic cards.
Anyone who had already received a permanent account number, but did not have the card, now has the option of either asking the Income-Tax department for an existing type of laminated card, or opt for a smart card by applying for it.
The applications which are pending with the I-T department (application made till June 30, 2003) would also be issued the old card, but if an individual wishes, he or she can go for the new card after paying Rs 60. All applications made from July 1 onwards will be handled by UTI-ISL and applicants will be given the new PAN cards.
Track your PAN card status online
A Web-enabled tracking system to enable tax payers and applicants to find out the status of their PAN cards will also be set up within two months, where applicants can find out their status by entering their details.
The applications will be collected by UTI-ISL and sent to the National Computer Centre of the Income-Tax department which will allot the numbers. The cards with new hologram and security features will be prepared by the company.
The UTIISL is setting up a Web-based system for monitoring movement of each application till the PAN card is delivered to the applicant.
Future PAN applicants will be able to ascertain status of their application through such Web-based query system.
Get your card within a fortnight
After submitting PAN application at I-T PAN Service Centre no further action will be required on the part of the applicant. It will be ensured that the PAN card is dispatched to the applicant within a fortnight. During the initial six months it may take some more time.
Grievances arising out of errors in the PAN data will be attended to within 10 working days and wherever required new PAN cards will be issued.
Requests received from PAN holders for changes in PAN data or address, however, will be processed and responded to in thirty days from the date of receipt of application.
In order to ensure quality service in a timely way the new PAN process shall follow procedures conforming to ISO 9001-2000.
Role of I-T department in the new arrangement
The Income-Tax department has outsourced only a part of business process, but it will continue to own and manage the PAN databases.
As such, Income-Tax department will remain responsible for ensuring quality of services to PAN applicants under the new arrangement.
In every city or town where I-T PAN Service Centres will be operational, the senior most officer of Income-Tax Department or his nominee, will act as a 'local PAN facilitator', who will attend to any difficulty faced and reported by PAN applicants while interacting with I-T PAN Service Centres.
Things to remember
- New PAN application Form 49A will be available only at I-T PAN Service Centres being set up and managed by UTIISL.
- All PAN and PAN Cards issued by the I-T Department will continue to remain valid and these holders need not apply again.
- Existing PAN allottees may, however, obtain superior PAN card by making an application at any I-T PAN Service Centre.
- New PAN applicants will have to give specified documents as 'proof of identity' and 'proof of address' at the time of making application for PAN.
- I-T PAN Service Centres will assist applicants in filling applications forms.
- To allow time to obtain PAN, due date of filing returns has been extended from July 31, 2003 to September 30, 2003.
- Quoting of correct PAN on return of income and all other correspondence with the department is mandatory.
- PAN card is widely recognized as a proof of identity and is required for several financial transactions.
What Is PAN?
The Permanent Account Number (PAN) is a ten-digit alphanumeric number, issued in the form of a laminated card, by an Assessing Officer of the Income Tax Department. A typical PAN is AFRPP1595D.
Is it necessary to have a PAN?
It is mandatory to quote PAN on return of income, all correspondence with any income tax authority and challans for any payments due to Income Tax Department.
It is also compulsory to quote PAN in all documents pertaining to economic or financial transactions notified from time-to-time by the Central Board of Direct Taxes.
Some such transactions are sale and purchase of immovable property or motor vehicle or payments to hotels for bills or payments in cash in connections with travel to any foreign country of amounts exceeding Rs 25,000.
It is also mandatory to mention PAN for obtaining a telephone or cellular telephone connection.
Likewise, PAN has to be mentioned for making a time deposit exceeding Rs. 50,000 with a bank or post office or depositing cash of Rs 50,000 in a bank.
It is statutory responsibility of a person receiving document relating to economic or financial transactions notified by the CBDT to ensure that PAN has been duly quoted in the document.
All existing assesses or taxpayers or persons who are required to furnish a return of income, even on behalf of others, must obtain PAN. Some such persons are Individuals, Companies, Partnership Firms, HUFs, Trusts or Representative assesses.
Can you have more than one PAN?
Obtaining or possessing more than one PAN is against the law.
Filling the PAN card form
- You are required to send the following documents along with the application form for PAN cards:
- 49 A form, duly filled in and signed.
- Photocopy of any identity proof with your photograph (like driving licence, college ID, work ID).
- Photocopy of any address proof (like ration card, etc).
- Two photographs.
- If you are out of Mumbai, the I-T office will also need your ward number/range/income tax assessing officer number (which you can find from the copy of the acknowledgement of the last return filed.) If you do not have that, you will have to ask your income tax department in your city, and they will give you the ward number.
- Work on your PAN card will begin after the payment has been made. The card shall be sent to you via post/courier to your postal address as mentioned by you.
I-T officials protest
Meanwhile, Income Tax employees and officers on Friday staged a demonstration in front of I-T office in South Mumbai, protesting against outsourcing of PAN work to UTI Investor Services Ltd.
The workers also submitted a memorandum to the Central Bureau of Direct Taxes chairman, through the chief commissioner of I-T, seeking an 'immediate winding up' of the services centres opened by UTIISL on I-T office premises.
"The I-T department has outsourced PAN cards issuing and related works to UTIISL from July 1, despite the fact that 97 per cent of the work was completed by I-T personnel," Joint Council for Action convenor Ashok B Salunkhe said.
He alleged that UTIISL had, in turn, outsourced the work to Bajaj Capital Ltd, and was acting as 'middleman' for the whole deal.