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From January 1, false information by non-PAN holders can land them in jail

NEW DELHI: A false declaration by an individual not possessing PAN card for certain value of transactions can land him upto a seven-year jail term and a hefty fine as part of Income Tax regulations that will come into force from January 2016.

As part of the directives issued by the government for implementation of the Permanent Account Number (PAN) regime from January 1, any person not having a PAN but undertaking a transaction which requires a mandatory quoting of it, will have to fill up ‘Form No. 60’.

The one-page form seeks personal details of the person undertaking the transaction along with a valid proof of identity and address, like Aadhaar and Elector’s Photo Identity Card (EPIC) among others.

“There are people who may not have a PAN and still make a large transaction for which quoting of PAN is now essential. In such cases, such people have to fill Form 60 and making a false declaration of information in this will make them liable for punishment which could be a maximum of seven years of Rigorous Imprisonment (RI) with fine or a minimum of three months RI with fine under IT laws,” a senior tax department official said.

The department is empowered to file a prosecution case against such people under section 277 of the IT Act (false statement in verification), the official said.

The said Act stipulates that in a case where tax sought to be evaded exceeds Rs 25 lakh (by way of false declaration in Form 60), the punishment is RI between 6 months-7 years with fine and in cases below this monetary limit, the punishment will be RI between 3 months-2 years with fine.

In order to achieve a two-pronged target of curbing the circulation of black money and widening tax base, the government has recently notified changes in the monetary limits that will require mandatory quoting of PAN.

PAN has been made compulsory from Friday for transactions like cash payment of hotel or foreign travel bill exceeding Rs 50,000, purchase of jewellery above Rs two lakhs in cash or card, purchase of immovable property of over Rs 10 lakh, term deposits exceeding Rs 50,000 or Rs 5 lakh in a year with banks, Post Offices and Non Banking Financial Companies among others.

Under the ‘Form No. 60’, an individual has to provide his personal details like name, address, date of birth, mobile number and mode of transaction like cash, cheque, card, draft or banker’s cheque, online transfer or any other.

The form has an exclusive column to provide the Aadhaar number of the declarant and also includes space for mentioning the acknowledgement number which could have been received by them while applying for this 10-digit alphanumeric number.

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