The income tax department is set to launch a facility to instantly issue permanent account number (PAN) online, using details available in the Aadhaar database, helping end the wait time for applicants.
Sources told TOI the service would be launched over the next few weeks and would also help those with an existing PAN get a duplicate in a matter of minutes. The electronic PAN (ePAN) facility would be available free of cost and “on near to real time” basis, an official said.
Those looking for an ePAN will need to quote their Aadhaar and verify the details using a one-time password (OTP). Since the data provided in Aadhaar such as address, father’s name and date of birth will be accessed online, there will be no requirement to upload any document apart from some basic information.
Once a PAN is generated, the applicant will be issued a digitally signed ePAN, with a QR code which will capture the demographic data besides photo of the applicant. The information in the QR code will be encrypted to prevent forgery or digital photoshopping, an official said.
Scaling up pilot project
While a pilot with over 62,000 ePANs issued over eight days has been conducted, the facility is now being scaled up to make it nationwide and available to all taxpayers over the next few weeks. “The move is part of greater digitisation of income tax services and aimed at providing the facility without anyone having to visit any office,” an official said.
After SC judgment on Aadhaar, which allowed use of the number for linking PAN, the government has decided to make it mandatory for several high-value transactions and those who do not have PAN will now be issued one instantly based on Aadhaar.