The finance ministry is working on a strategy to compile and better utilise information of individuals who report agricultural income and carry out transactions that require a permanent account number (PAN).
The need for this has arisen as the ministry has noticed that many of these individuals do not possess a PAN.
The ministry is mulling changes to Form 60 and Form 61 (which cover the non-PAN and agricultural income categories respectively) and digitising them so as to allow such information to be captured online in the same manner as the annual information return. Another option being discussed is including additional information such as mandatory attachment of the individual's photograph.
Ministry officials said while both the forms had existed for some time, the income tax department had not been able to utilise the information.
The forms are sometimes collected in trucks but they can't be manually processed since they are so large in number, an official said.
At present, if an individual undertakes any transaction as listed out in Section 114 B of the Income Tax Act that requires mandatory quoting of PAN, and he does not have a PAN either because he is not assessable to tax or because he has applied for a PAN, the individual has to file the details of the transaction in Form 60.
Income tax rule 114 B at present covers 16 kinds of transactions, including sale or purchase of immovable property valued at Rs 5 lakh, sale or purchase of a motor vehicle, time deposits exceeding Rs 50,000, opening of a bank account and application for installation of a telephone connection.
Similarly, those who have agricultural income have to file the details of their income in Form 61.
The two forms have to be filed half yearly. The changes in the forms are in context of the powers granted to the tax department to suo moto grant PANs.
This years Budget had introduced a new sub-section (1B) of section 139A under which an assessing officer would be empowered to allot a PAN to a person.