MUMBAI, 4 June-2014(INDILENS WEB TEAM): Avoid using your permanent account number (PAN) to book railway tickets under the tatkal scheme, as it can be misused to carry out benami transactions.
The Indian Railways accepts the PAN card as indentity proof to book tickets under the scheme, but anybody can access the details as they are published on reservation charts pasted on compartments.
Premnath D S, a Hyderabad-based chartered accountant, told TOI, “The system is a boon for benami transactions after the Finance Act 2012 made it mandatory for traders like jewellery dealers to collect a tax from customers on the purchase of jewellery worth Rs 2 lakh and above.”
He said while compiling tax collection at source (TCS) rules for collection, payment and uploading of that information, jewellery dealers have to furnish the PAN of customers. For some customers it is inconvenient to provide the PAN as they have constraints in explaining their sources of money. Premnath said, “Traders may try accommodate high net-worth customers by quoting a benami PAN, particularly the name, sex and age from reserved railway compartments.”
This information went viral on the net after Premnath posted an alert about the system’s possible misuse.
Subhash Gupta, member, zonal rail user consultative committee, said the railways must stop publishing PAN details on reservation charts. He appealed to people not to use their PAN card as identify proof for booking tickets till a foolproof system is in place.
Premnath said, “The income-tax department can ask the tax-payer to explain the source of income for such transactions.”
“The onus is on genuine tax-payers for a fault of traders. The settlement of such disputes often takes more than two years,” he added.