1. PAN and Aadhaar linkage could be the key to curb tax evasion

PAN and Aadhaar linkage could be the key to curb tax evasion

The PAN-Aadhaar combination will not only make the tracking of individuals easier, it will also be a big source to gather banking transaction information, which can be an important indication of a person’s income profile.

By: | New Delhi | Published: February 17, 2017 12:51 AM
pan-card-l Of a total of over 24 crore PANs, the latest data indicate that only 9733664 have been linked to Aadhaar through e-returns.

santosh-tiwari-ssThe PAN-Aadhaar combination will not only make the tracking of individuals easier, it will also be a big source to gather banking transaction information, which can be an important indication of a person’s income profile.

The income tax department’s ‘Operation Clean Money’, launched on January 31, for e-verification of large cash deposits made during the demonetisation period, under which 18 lakh people were asked through e-mails and SMS to submit their response on the e-filing portal, should be taken as a pilot project for handling tax evasion in a non-intrusive manner in future.

That the operation saw 5.27 lakh people submitting their responses till February 12, and cash deposits have been confirmed in more than 99.5% of the accounts which they hold — in itself, shows that any information about investments and expenditure of people could be tackled in this manner.

The whole exercise has also identified around 4.84 lakh taxpayers, not yet registered with the e-filing portal, but obviously, a substantial chunk is yet to respond, and forcing them to do that would be a big challenge.

This is where linking of Aadhaar number and PAN could be a major help. Of a total of over 24 crore PANs, the latest data indicate that only 9733664 have been linked to Aadhaar through e-returns.

The moment government finds a way through which the PAN of every individual is linked to his/her Aadhaar – a direct communication link (through SMS or email) will get established between the tax department and the PAN holder, which can be utilized for verifying any expenditure or investment related information.

In fact, in the case of new PAN applicants, Aadhaar verification would mean a speedy allotment also, which is being explored by the Central Board of Direct Taxes already.

As Aadhaar is also increasingly getting linked to the bank accounts of the people, this link can be utilized to trace the income profile of any individual too.

The biggest advantage of this PAN-Aadhaar taxpayer tracking model would be that it will deal with people in a transparent and non-intrusive manner.

While this will reduce the unnecessary fear of the taxman, the PAN-Aadhaar database will also act as an effective deterrent as people would know that any effort to evade taxes will not go unnoticed and they can be questioned about it.

On its part, though, the taxman will have to ensure that the honest taxpayers are not harassed in any way while using this mode to catch tax evaders.

  1. R
    Reader
    Oct 9, 2017 at 6:10 am
    A centralized and inter-linked biometric database like Aadhaar will lead to profiling and self-censorship, endangering freedom. Personal data gathered under the Aadhaar program is prone to misuse and surveillance. Aadhaar project has created a vulnerability to identi-ty fraud, even identi-ty theft. Easy harvesting of biometrics traits and publicly-available Aadhaar numbers increase the risk of impersonation, especially online and banking fraud. Centralized databases can be hacked. Biometrics can be cloned, copied and reused. Thus, BIOMETRICS CAN BE FAKED. High-resolution cameras can capture your fingerprints and iris information from a distance. Every eye hospital will have iris images of its patients. So another person can clone your fingerprints and iris images without your knowledge, and the same can be used for authentication. If the Aadhaar scheme is NOT STOPPED by the Supreme Court, the biometric features of Indians will soon be cloned, misused, and even traded.
    Reply
    1. R
      Reader
      Oct 9, 2017 at 6:09 am
      UK’s Biometric ID Database was dismantled. Why the United Kingdom's biometrics-linked National Identi-ty Card project to create a centralized register of sensitive information about residents similar to Aadhaar was scrapped in 2010?? The reasons were the massive threat posed to the privacy of people, the possibility of a surveillance state, the dangers of maintaining such a huge centralized repository of personal information, and the purposes it could be used for, and the dangers of such a centralized database being hacked. The other reasons were the unreliability of such a large-scale biometric verification processes, and the ethics of using biometric identification.
      Reply
      1. R
        Reader
        Oct 9, 2017 at 6:09 am
        The US Social Security Number (SSN) card has NO BIOMETRIC DETAILS, no photograph, no physical description and no birth date. All it does is confirm that a particular number has been issued to a particular name. Instead, a driving license or state ID card is used as an identification for adults. The US government DOES NOT collect the biometric details of its own citizens for the purpose of issuing Social Security Number. The US collects the fingerprints of only those citizens who are involved in any criminal activity (it has nothing to do with SSN), and the citizens of other countries who come to the US.
        Reply
        1. Vasundara Singh
          Mar 1, 2017 at 8:00 am
          Getting Pan Card became easy and reasonable , I just got mine from TAX2WIN
          Reply

          Go to Top