The Income-Tax Department, working under the Ministry of Finance, has proposed wide-ranging reforms that will enable applicants to avail a PAN Card within four hours, as reported by Times Of India (TOI).
Permanent Account Number (PAN) is an electronic system that through all tax-related data of an individual or a corporate entity is recorded under a single number. A PAN is issued to anyone (including NRIs) who pays taxes in India.
The tax department has plans to introduce pre-filled returns that would only need to be endorsed by the assessee, thus facilitating faster processing of applications by the officials.
Sushil Chandra, chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) noted that the department was adopting innovative solutions and is in the process of introducing technology and automation in several areas like pre-payment of taxes, the filing of returns, refunds, case selection and finalisation of cases for scrutiny. According to him, the PAN card allotment will be brought down to four hours, within a year.
Recently, the government also introduced a slew of changes to the PAN Card framework that will help curb tax evasion and provide greater flexibility to new applicants. It should be noted that the number of peoples filing income taxes has increased by 50 per cent in AY 2018-19 (Assessment Year).