What Are the New Features Introduced in PAN Cards?
As you already know, PAN card is one of the must-have documents today. Whether you need to open a bank account, exchange foreign currency or cash a lottery you just won, you need to have a PAN card to carry out all financial transactions. Besides, it works as a recognised identity proof.
PAN card was introduced by the Income Tax Department to prevent tax evasion. Permanent Account Number or PAN is an alphanumeric code which is allotted to every taxpayer in the country. The taxpayer can be an individual or an entity. Through PAN, the Income Tax Department keeps a track of all transactions made by the taxpayers.
The government found the measures not sufficient as over time, fraudulent practices associated with the use of PAN card grew considerably. There were several cases of card misuse, people holding more than one card and two people providing the same card details. To address this concern, the government introduced a new PAN card design with a few additional features earlier last year. These features were aimed to make the card tamper-proof and more secure. Below are those added features:
- The new card is smarter. It has a Quick Response (QR) code printed on it which is an extra and stronger security measure. The QR code contains the details like cardholder’s name, father’s name and date of birth. When needed, the authorities can quickly scan it to verify the credentials. Another advantage with the QR code is that it cannot be tweaked.
Compared to the previous PAN card design, the verification of the new card and related details is much easier, simpler and quicker.
- In addition to that, legends have been introduced for the name, father’s name and date of birth so that these details look more elaborated.
- Another new feature in the PAN card is that the positioning has been changed for the cardholder’s permanent account number and signature.
- New cards are a bilingual which means the content on the card is printed in both English and Hindi.
With the approval of the Income Tax Department, NSDL (National Securities Depository Ltd.) and UTI ITSL (UTI Infrastructure Technology and Services Ltd.) started printing PAN cards with a new design from 1 January 2017. So if you filed you PAN card application after that, your card must have the new design.
Although people holding older cards don’t have to replace them, they can apply for a new one if they want.
With new cards, the government has automated the data which helped in eliminating the possibility of any human errors and made banking and taxation transactions accurate. It looks quite evident that the new cards are intended to bring a higher level of transparency in all transaction-related aspects than the older cards.
PAN is an efficient means for the Income Tax Department to identify the taxpayers in the country. It is instrumental in keeping the track of people’s financial transactions. Tax evasion is a major concern and hits the economy directly. Addition of new features in PAN card appears to be promising. It looks to be an effective measure and a step forward in the direction of security.