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Biometric PANs, individual profiling for tax compliance
July, 20th 2007

The income tax department has some hi-tech plans up it sleeves. From biometric PAN cards to 360-degree profiling of individual tax payers, finance minister P Chidambaram announced a slew of measures being planned by the government to keep a closer and tighter watch on taxpayers.

The income tax department was at present deactivating duplicate PAN cards and once this exercise was over, it would start issuing biometric PAN cards, Chidambaram told reporters today after inaugurating the national conference of Chief Income Tax Commissioners here.

The ministry is hoping to introduce iris-based biometric PANs to all new applicants for checking duplicate cards and better tax compliance. The process could start as soon as October. Existing PAN cardholders would be encouraged to switch over to biometric PAN cards, he added.

The income tax authorities also plan to unveil a new and comprehensive system for taxpayer profiling. Being run as a pilot project in Delhi, the integrated tax profiling system, gives a 360 degree picture of taxpayers, Chidambaram said. It had helped detect some important tax evasion cases and would now be introduced in major commissionerates of the country, he added.

The system compiles information on taxpayers from a number of sources such as annual information reports (AIRs) regarding bank accounts, credit cards, investments in mutual funds and the share market and purchase of property to investigate tax evasion and uses it to produce a financial profile of individuals.

The finance ministry is also emphasing on the complete computerisation of the I-T department. E-filing of returns for tax deducted at source (TDS) is likely to be launched this fiscal.

E-payment of TDS will begin for corporates and those under section 44AB from January 1, 2008.

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