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PAN coverage scope to be expanded

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NEW DELHI, June 21

IN its ongoing efforts to check tax evasion, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) plans to further enhance the coverage of transactions for which quoting of permanent account number (PAN) would be made mandatory.

"We have been quite lenient on the PAN front. A time will soon come when we will be able to record and track almost all major transactions through the route of quoting of PAN numbers," the Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Mr P.K. Sarma, told presspersons here.

The CBDT had only on Thursday announced a set of transactions for which quoting of PAN has been made mandatory.

Mr Sarma also promised that the administration of tax deducted at source (TDS) would be further improved through computerisation, which would help in faster issuance of refunds.

"I have already directed the field formations to issue refund orders for all salaried employees by July 15," he said.

On the Delhi High Court Order on the Mauritius double taxation issue, Mr Sarma said: "We are examining the judgement and analysing all aspects and ramifications."

He said the Finance Ministry would consult the Law Ministry before taking a decision on the future course of action. "There is still time," he said.

Earlier inaugurating a seminar on `TDS provisions and their implications', organised by the Northern Region Chapter of International Fiscal Association — India Branch, Mr Sarma said that the default of TDS provisions had been quite extensive in the "unorganised and informal" sectors of the economy. "To be successful in the role of an agent who deducts tax on behalf of the Government, one has to enhance knowledge of law.

The surveys undertaken by the I-T Department are not meant for harassment of the employers, but intended to check leakage of revenues for the department," Mr Sarma said.

The TDS route accounts for 40 per cent of total direct tax collections of the Government.

Almost 60 per cent of the personal income-tax collections of the Government are done through TDS provisions of the Income-Tax Act, 1961.

"We will be getting more revenues in future through the TDS route and the department's TDS administration is being streamlined to face such a scenario and ensure that there are no delays in refunds," Mr Sarma said.

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