India’s Income Tax (IT) Department has implemented a new technology designed to identify and eliminate duplicate Permanent Account Number (PAN) entries. This new technology is an electronic smart platform named ITBA-PAN (Income Tax Business Application – Permanent Account Number) and it has already been put into operation by the IT Department. This platform is designed to help the Department as well as intermediaries engaged in issuing PAN cards to instantly identify duplicate numbers each time a new PAN application is received at the portal.
This new technology largely automates the previous system, which was primarily manual and not completely accurate. Though all new applications are expected to be screened in this way, the old records will continue to be scanned manually in order to weed out duplicate entries that still exist. This new process of eliminating duplicate PAN records is the result of a long-term project by the IT Department, which has long sought to stop perpetrators from evading taxes by providing different PAN details to different agencies.
As per the newly implemented process, once the ITBA-PAN platform identifies the existence of a duplicate PAN, the IT Department is automatically directed to inform the individual with the duplicate record. These individuals are required to meet their assessing officer and surrender the duplicate identity documents. If the applicant fails to do so, the system automatically eliminates the duplicate entry. Government initiatives to curb black money and bring more people into the tax net are set to get further boost, through reduction and subsequent elimination of duplicate entries using the ITBA-PAN system.