The finance ministry has set up an internal group to finalise the norms for introduction of biometric permanent account numbers (PAN).
The ministry is hoping to introduce iris-based biometric PANs to all new applicants from the next financial year. Meanwhile, an extensive media campaign called One Person, One PAN will be launched next week to encourage voluntary surrender of duplicate PANs.
The revenue department has so far identified 26 lakh PANs with 13 lakh persons and has already issued around 2.5 lakh letters to these taxpayers. All these taxpayers would be required to contact the assessing officer.
The letter will indicate to the taxpayer the permanent account number that should be used. However, in case the taxpayer uses the other PAN he can meet the assessing officer and indicate which of the two numbers they would like to use for all future transactions, an official said.
Those who have not yet received the letter from the department but are possess a duplicate PAN would, the media campaign, be asked to approach the department through.
The department can be reached either by calling their call centre, Aaykar Sampark Kendra, by logging on to the I-T department website, e-mailing their information to a PAN dedicated website of the I-T or by writing a letter to them, the official said.
He said individual taxpayers with duplicate PAN would be required to submit the details of their name, fathers name, date of birth, mailing address, telephone or mobile number, PAN to be surrendered and PAN to be retained. In case of corporates it would be mandatory to provide, in addition to the above details, the date of incorporation.
In order to check against frauds, the department has already made it mandatory for taxpayers to give their full name. Initials are no longer accepted. Also the department is now insisting on 100 per cent verification.
The I-T department on an average receives 5 lakh applications every month. So far, 4.7 crore PANs have been issued.