For almost 11 years, Lachhman Singh, a peon at the Akal Degree College, Mastuana, Punjab and Laxman Singh, a soldier in Delhi shared the same Permanent Account Number (PAN). Both men, even though they filed their income tax return on time, the error from the tax officials remained unseen even for 11 years. Lachhman Singh was issued his PAN in 2003, while the soldier Laxman Singh was issued his PAN in 2006. The 55-years-old Lachhman Singh came to know about the details when he failed to file his taxes this year. Other than PAN, the two men even share the same date of birth also. Both men were born in April 1962. Another bizarre commonality is that they share the same father’s name as well – Ram Singh.
While speaking to Hindustan Times, Lachhman Singh said, “I did not file my income tax return this year, but Laxman from Delhi filed his return with the same PAN.” He added, “I approached the local office of the income tax department. Officials there gave up. I was told to solve the problem on my own.” Laxman Singh from Delhi said, “It was only when the man from Punjab called me up and narrated the story, that I realised the confusion.”
As per the system, the same PAN cannot be issued to two people. The man from Punjab has filed an application with the income tax department in Sangrur Punjab on October 9. He has not received any reply from the tax officials yet. On this matter, Rajdeep Singh the joint director of the income tax department in Chandigarh said, “When we receive their applications on the matter, we will inquire into it. The current PAN will be issued to the one who had applied first.”
Meanwhile, until November this year, around 13.28 crore PANs was linked with the Aadhaar. There are about 33 crore PAN cards, while Aadhaar has been issued to about 115 crore people. The government had made the PAN-Aadhaar linking mandatory for filing ITR (Income Tax Return) and obtaining a new PAN from July 31. However, the government on December 8 extended the deadline for linking PAN with Aadhaar by three more months to March 31 next year. With this, the last date for mandatory linking has now been extended thrice from the original date of July 31 this year.