Soon, the I-T department will issue PAN instantly online

NEW DELHI: The income tax department is ready to launch a facility to issue instantly permanent account number (PAN) online, using the details available in the Aadhaar database, which helps to end the waiting time for applicants. The sources told TOI that the service would be launched in the coming weeks and would also help those with an existing PAN to obtain a duplicate in minutes.

The electronic PAN installation (ePAN) would be available for free and almost in real time, an official said. Those looking for an ePAN should quote their Aadhaar and verify the details using a one-time password (OTP). Since the data provided in Aadhaar, such as address, father's name and date of birth, will be accessed online, it will not be necessary to upload any document other than certain basic information.

Once a PAN is generated, the applicant will receive a digitally signed ePAN, with a QR code which will capture the demographic data besides photo of the applicant. The information in the QR code will be encrypted to prevent forgery or digital photoshopping, an official said.

While a pilot with more than 62,000 ePANs issued for eight days has been carried out, the facility is now being expanded to be national and available to all taxpayers in the coming weeks. The measure is part of a greater digitalization of income tax services and aims to provide the facility without anyone having to visit any offices, an official said.

After the SC trial on Aadhaar, which allowed the use of the number to link PAN, the government decided to make it mandatory for several high-value transactions and those who do not have PAN will now receive one instantly based on Aadhaar.