Another major stride has been taken towards the government's Digital India campaign, with the Income Tax Department taking the decision to now app-ify the payment of taxes and the application for one's PAN or a Personal Account Number. The IT department is developing an app that will enable users to pay their taxes and procure their PANs through their smartphones.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes is working on a project that would help people and entities currently outside the taxation system get their PANs in real-time, within minutes. They will do so using an e-KYC authentication system of Aadhaar, which will verify details such as date of birth or address through biometric identification, using thumb impressions.
If a SIM can be issued through e-KYC, then the same can be done for PAN, according to an officer who spoke to the Times of India. The process will now take five to six minutes, rather than the two-three weeks it required previously, with the number being generated on the spot and the card delivered later.
The Corporate Affairs Ministry and CBDT are also coming together to issue a PAN to newly incorporated companies, through a combined form in four hours.
This app is essentially targeted at seniors and young taxpayers, with the aim of making the process simpler.
"The app concept is at a preliminary stage. The app will enable assessees to pay taxes online, apply for PAN cards and track tax returns. A pilot project will be undertaken after getting approval from the Finance Ministry," said an official, as reported by NDTV.
The government has mandated the record of PAN card numbers for cash withdrawals of Rs 50,000 and above, and any purchases in cash above Rs 2 lakh. Currently, there are more than 11 crore Aadhar card holders and over 25 crore PAN card holders in the country.
The UID or unique identification number has various applications, and can be used for getting new SIM cards, opening bank accounts, transferring subsidies and also for biometric-based digital payments under Aadhaar Enabled Payment System. Beginning January 1, the tax department has started issuing newly designed PAN cards that have added security features to make them tamper-proof and with contents written in both Hindi and English.