A PAN card is one of the most important documents that an individual possesses. The card which contains a 10-digit alphanumeric number is offered by the Income Tax department under the Income Tax Act, 1961. The document which serves as an identity card for the individual enables the department to ensure that no one is able to evade taxes if their earnings are in the range that is taxable. Although according to law an individual is allowed to avail only one PAN card, however that is not always the case as instances of individuals/entities having more than one PAN card is seen quite often.
Why Do Individuals / Corporate Entities Possess More Than One Pan Card?
Considering that possessing more than one PAN card is illegal and a punishable act. The question arises as to why people are willing to take such a huge risk. The answer to that could be accounted to the circumstances one finds himself/herself.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons as to why people end up with more than just a Permanent Account Number (PAN) card.
- Lack of awareness: One of the main reasons that can be accounted to multiple PAN cards is lack of awareness or knowledge among individuals and entities. When we say lack of knowledge, it is regarding what to do when there are certain mistakes on the existing PAN card. In case of such instances, due to lack of awareness many tend to apply for a new PAN card rather than going for a correction on the existing PAN card.
- Multiple applications for PAN card: Applying multiple times for a PAN card is another reason why people end up with more than one PAN card. Very often individuals who apply for a PAN card tend to go for applying again if the card doesn’t reach them within the stipulated time. This results in them having two PAN cards at the same time.
- Applying for a new PAN card post marriage: This is another common reason for having more than one PAN card. As most women change their surname following marriage, they tend to apply for a new PAN card rather than requesting for a correction in their surname on their existing PAN card.
- Ignorance of NRIs: Another reason as to why individuals end with more than one PAN card is that most often NRIs who visit the country tend to apply multiple times for a PAN card. As there is a cap on the maximum transaction that is allowed without a PAN card, NRIs are forced to get a PAN card to carry out a transaction that is beyond the prescribed transaction limit. However, when the NRIs visit the country after a long period of time, they tend to reapply for the PAN card altogether resulting them in having multiple PAN cards.
- To evade taxes: Apart from the following reasons, possessing multiple PAN cards is also done by individuals and entities to cheat the government with regards to their earning. Having multiple PAN cards enables such individuals to use the loopholes in the system and evade from paying their taxes.
Why Not To Have Multiple Pan Cards?
As seen, there can be a variety of reasons as why individuals and entities may possess more than one PAN card. Though some can be purely because of lack of proper knowledge regarding PAN cards there are some who avail multiple PAN cards with the clear intention of cheating the government. With the law terming having more than one permanent account number as illegal, the question arises as to what happens when one possesses multiple PAN cards.
Below Are Some Points That One Needs To Consider Prior To Carrying On Having More Than One Pan Card:
- Penalties imposed: As the act of possessing more than one PAN card is a punishable act by law, one is found to be carrying multiple PAN cards is charged with penalties. As per Section 272B of the Income Tax Act, 1961, a penalty of Rs. 10,000 is charged on the individual or entity that is found to be having more than one PAN card.
- Liable for prosecution: Apart from being imposed with a fine if an individual or entity is found to be using multiple PANs with the intention of evading taxes legal actions can be undertaken against them under income tax laws. With this clause of prosecution in place those possessing more than one PAN card with the intention of saving money by evading taxes need to be cautious as it may lead to severe punishment.
- Mess up the financial process as well as transactions: Having more than one PAN card can also lead to messing up one’s financial process. This is because the PAN card is required more matters like filing income tax returns, opening bank accounts etc and having multiple PAN cards can create issues for the applicants.
- Bad credit profile: Banks sees those having multiple PAN cards as potential fraudsters. They are unwilling to grant loans to such individuals and entities as financial institutions have doubts over their ability and intention to repay the loan that are willing to borrow. Banks usually blacklist them which results in huge credit problems even when the CIBIL score is good.
How To Resolve The Issues Of Having Multiple Pan Cards?
Are you one of those that possesses multiple PAN cards? Want to get rid of the additional PAN cards that are in your name but unaware as to how to do it? There is no need to worry as one can get rid of all the additional PAN cards at the Income Tax Department. Be it the issue of possessing multiple PAN cards, or having a duplicate PAN card, the only way to resolve it is to surrender those cards. One can initiate the process of surrendering the additional PAN cards that one has either through the online or offline mode.
Below, One Can Find The Step-wise Guide That One Needs To Follow If One Intends To Do So Online:
- First the individual or entity that wishes to return the additional PAN card need to go on the NSDL website and click on the ‘Services’ tab on the drop-down menu. Thereafter, one needs to click on the PAN page and visit the ‘Apply online’ feature.
- Next, the individual needs to choose ‘Changes or Correction in existing PAN Data/Reprint of PAN Card (No changes in existing PAN Data)’ in the ‘Application Type’ tab.
- Fill in the details asked for under the ‘Applicant Information’ tab
- Submit the details along with the captcha code.
- On doing so, the individual is redirected to a new page where a token number is displayed. The page will also contain a tab stating ‘Continue with PAN Application Form’. Click on it.
- Following that a new webpage would open up where the individual would need to choose options related to the submission of PAN application documents. Select the second option that states ‘Submit scanned images through e-sign’ and enter the details of the PAN number that one wishes to retain.
- Provide the details that are asked for and click ‘Next’.
- Next, fill in the details regarding ‘Address for Communication’ and proceed to ‘Mention other Permanent Account Numbers (PANs) if any, inadvertently allotted to you’ tab. Provide the details of the extra/duplicate PAN cards that one wants cancelled or surrendered and click ‘Next’
- Thereafter, the individual needs to provide the details of the documents enclosed to support the application.
- Next the scanned copies of the applicant’s photo, signature and documents needs to be uploaded on the link provided.
- Thereafter, the declaration on the form needs to be signed by the applicant.
- Next step is to verify the information provided and click ‘Submit’.
- Post submission, an acknowledgement is provided as proof of surrendering additional PAN cards.
As mentioned earlier, additional PAN cards can also be done through offline mode. The process of doing so starts with the form being downloaded from the NSDL website. Following that the applicant needs to fill up the details asked for in the form and submit it at the nearest UTI or NSDL TIN facilitation centre. On doing so, a copy of acknowledgement is provided to the individual by authorized personnel.
Thereafter, the applicant needs to provide the acknowledgement slip along with the copy/copies of the PAN cards that the individual wants to surrender to the assessing officer of the jurisdiction under which the individual falls.
The PAN card which contains the 10-digit alphanumeric number is one of the most important documents when it comes to financial transactions. As such any discrepancies regarding it can result in individuals facing some unwanted situations. So, it is imperative that all the details regarding PAN card are kept correct as well as make sure that individuals/entities are not in possession of multiple PAN cards. This is because having multiple PAN cards as discussed above can lead to both financial and legal problems.