The Income Tax Department is sending 7 lakh letters seeking PAN numbers for high-value value transactions that were undertaken between 2009-10 to 2016-17. This is part of 90 lakh such transactions being tracked by the department where PAN number was not tagged as required by income tax laws. If you are one of those to receive a reminder on this, what should you do? Tax experts believe that ignoring the communication and not providing the relevant detail can have long-term adverse consequences that could be tough to deal with.
Suresh Surana, Founder, RSM Consulting Group, said that ignoring the IT communcation could lead to further trouble with the Income tax authorities. “If you continue to avoid providing your PAN details, the Income Tax deparment will send you a formal notice, followed by summons requiring personal attendance to explain the position. Continued defiance can also result in summons and penalty and in extreme cases the law also provides for imprisonment,” Surana told FeMoney.
However, he said powers of search are prosecution are used only in select cases.
Amit Maheshwari, Managing Partner, Ashok Maheshwary & Associates also advises compliance with the tax deparment’s requirements. “The move to seek PAN details where it was missing from high-value transactions is a clear indication that the government has become very serious on non-compliance with tax laws which lead to tax avoidance and revenue loss,” Maheshwari said.
The I-T department on Thursday said it was “closely scrunitising” 7 lakh high-risk clusters with 14 lakh non-PAN transactions which are being scrutinised closely. This is part of 90 lakh high-value transactions undertaken between 2009-10 and 2016-17 without providing PAN details.
The transactions being tracked include cash deposits of Rs 10,00,000 or more in a saving bank account, sale or purchase of immovable property valued at Rs 30,00,000 or more.
Surana says the I-T Department’s use of the electonic mode is speeding up the entire process. “There are two things happening. Firstly, the I-T department is using technology to dig up information and secondly asking the response also to be executed electronicaly. The entire process will be swift,” Surana said.
Thus, the tax authorities have said that those who receive the letters can login in to their e-filing website and quoting a Unique Transaction Sequence Number in the letter and can link their transaction with their PAN. The parties involved will also have the option to own up the transaction or deny it as their own, all through electronic response.