Be careful when you fill out that form for a Permanent Account Number (PAN). Nearly 13 lakh applications are pending with the government — a situation it blames on people not following guidelines.
According to income-tax records, 12,92,881 PAN card applications are pending, with Maharashtra leading the pack with 261,483. Following are Uttar Pradesh (117,121), Gujarat (115,413) and Delhi (114,202), with other states bringing up the rear.
“Despite guidelines and instructions, people fill-up the form incorrectly or the proofs they submit don’t match with the information they provide, leading to rejection of an application, and such cases get accumulated,” an I-T official said.
When corrected applications are refiled, they join at the tail of the queue, and end up as pending requests.
Apart from this there are a large number of online applications that don’t have supporting documents or fees.
The I-T department says it takes 7 to 10 days to issue a PAN card once the application is received. The job has been oursourced to UTI Infrastructure Technology & Services Limited and National Securities Depository Limited.
The public is not convinced by the government’s explanation. “It is difficult to get a rectified PAN card due to the rigidity of the I-T department,” said chartered accountant and tax consultant, Kuldip R Aggarwal. “They only accept authentication by an MP, MLA or a
Class-I gazetted officer, and in many cases assessees have to make several rounds of the income tax office to get their cards rectified.”