New Delhi: Seeking to ease the compliance burden, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has proposed a slew of measures including interchangeability of PAN and Aadhaar and faceless assessment in electronic mode with no human interface.
"India's Ease of Doing Business ranking under the category of 'paying taxes' showed a significant jump from 172 in 2017 to 121 in 2019. I now propose to implement series of measures that will leverage technology to make compliance easier for the taxpayers," Sitharaman said while presenting her maiden Budget.
Accordingly, she proposed to make PAN and Aadhaar interchangeable and allow those who do not have PAN to file Income Tax returns by simply quoting their Aadhaar number. The taxpayers may also use it wherever they are required to quote PAN.
Nitin Baijal, Director, Deloitte India said that the Budget was an effort at laying down a clear roadmap for tax administration over the next five years with introduction of a slew of measures specifically aimed at simplifying the tax filing process, e-assessment process and interchangeability of PAN with Aadhaar.
Pre-filled tax returns will be made available to taxpayers which will contain details of salary income, capital gains from securities, bank interests, and dividends etc. and tax deductions. Information regarding these incomes will be collected from the sources concerned such as banks, stock exchanges, mutual funds, EPFO and state Registration Departments among others.
"This will not only significantly reduce the time taken to file a tax return, but will also ensure accuracy of reporting of income and taxes," the Finance Minister said in Lok Sabha.
With interchangeability of Aadhaar and PAN proposed, the country is likely to move towards one identity number as in case of social security number in the US.
Neel Ratan, Partner and Leader- Government and Public Sector, PwC India said that the move was perhaps the first step to abolish PAN altogether for individuals.
"This also paves the way for better tax compliance with a single identifier and data driven governance," Ratan noted.