Returning a duplicate PAN card has become a tedious task for many individuals, leading to frustration and financial difficulties.

Holding more than one PAN (Permanent Account Number) is against the law and can result in penalties, making it necessary for individuals to return one of their PAN cards promptly.

However, the process is far from simple, as highlighted by numerous people through their accounts on social media platforms like Twitter.

People share their struggle with returning the duplicate PAN card

Under Section 139A of the Income Tax Act, individuals are prohibited from holding more than one PAN number. Failure to comply with this provision can result in a penalty of up to Rs 10,000.

“Under Section 272B, if a person fails to comply with the provisions of Section 139A, the Assessing Officer may direct that such person shall pay, by way of penalty, a sum of Rs 10,000. If you have been issued two PAN cards, then you have to go for surrender of one of the PAN card which was allotted to you. The same can be done via visiting the online portal of NSDL, or by offline method wherein the assessee may submit a letter to the Assessing Officer in the relevant jurisdiction specifying the PAN which they wish to keep,” said Nidhi Singh, Partner, IndiaLaw LLP.

To return the PAN (duplicate) card which individuals do not intend to use further, they must either visit the online portal of the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) or submit a letter to the Assessing Officer in their jurisdiction specifying which PAN card they wish to keep.

Despite these instructions, many individuals have encountered difficulties with returning their duplicate PAN cards. These issues range from a lack of awareness about the steps involved to delays in the process, leading to financial hardships for affected individuals.

One such individual, who did not wish to reveal their identity, while talking to indiatoday.in shared their experience of returning their duplicate PAN card.

They explained that while using the Digilocker mobile application, they mistakenly issued an instant PAN card linked to their Aadhaar card. Unaware of the consequences of holding multiple PAN cards, they continued to use their original PAN card for financial transactions.

“I was again going through the Digilocker app, and inadvertently issued an instant PAN (ward based out of Delhi since my Aadhaar was issued in Delhi). I thought that likewise my other documents, this would also be the PAN card that I was being using from beginning, just that it would be Digilocker verified soft copy. But I was wrong and the app issued an instant PAN by linking it with my aadhaar,” the person said.

Upon realising the mistake and the potential penalties involved, they attempted to return the duplicate PAN card. However, they soon discovered that the online process for surrendering PAN cards had been discontinued.

Instead, the person was required to follow a manual procedure, which proved to be lengthy and troublesome.

They described the process of returning the duplicate PAN card, which involved submitting applications to the ward officers of both PAN cards, one in Guwahati, Assam, and the other in Delhi. Despite their efforts and numerous follow-ups, the process was marred by delays and bureaucratic hurdles.

Furthermore, the individual’s salary account was frozen due to the discrepancy, causing financial strain. Despite seeking updates from the IT office, they were unable to obtain a tentative timeline for the resolution of their case, leaving them anxious about their financial situation.

“My salary account has been on freeze for over a month now, and I am facing acute financial restraints due to which I am not being able to plan my financials properly. As per my last visit to the IT office, they said that no tentative date / time cannot be provided as of now, and I was told to take a follow-up after a month,” the person said.

Offline process for surrendering PAN card

Complete the “Request For New PAN Card Or/And Changes Or Correction in PAN Data” form.

Visit the nearest NSDL collection centre with the filled-out form and necessary documents.

Receive an acknowledgement slip upon submission of the form.

Send the acknowledgement slip to NSDL within 15 days.

Draft a letter to your Assessing Officer explaining the duplicate PAN issue and requesting cancellation.

Consider providing an affidavit confirming your ownership of a single PAN.

Visit your local Income Tax Assessing Officer, submit the letter regarding the duplicate PAN, and request cancellation.

Retain the acknowledgement number for future reference.

The individual said that the online process to surrender the PAN card is not available any more and people would have to take the offline route.

However, the offline process, according to many, takes a lot of time and is not streamlined, leading to uncertainty.

Published On:

Mar 4, 2024


Source link