Old PAN Series
To address the shortcomings of the General Index Register (GIR) Number, the first series of PAN was launched in the year 1972. However, there were still certain issues that needed to be addressed.
- A central database was not maintained and hence, there was absolutely no way to verify multiple PAN allocation to a taxpayer
- The data that was stored for PAN holders was neither structured well nor did it capture detailed information except a few primary details like name, address etc.
- PAN was not a permanent number since it depended upon the jurisdiction of the assesse and hence changed when the assesse changed his/her location
New PAN Series
Since a taxpayer can make payment of taxes or have monetary transaction anywhere in India, a unique all India taxpayer identification Number was essential for linking and processing transactions / documents relating to a taxpayer. Therefore, a new series of Permanent Account Number was devised which took care of the above limitations. Section 139A of the Act was amended w.e.f. 1.7.95 to enable allotment of PAN under new series to persons residing in areas notified by the Board. Applications for allotment of PAN under new series were made mandatory in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai w.e.f. 1.6.96, and in rest of the country w.e.f. 11.2.98.
Further, the new PAN series facilitated the following points which were earlier not included in the old series of PAN –
- Linking of all tax related information, current as well as past, to a single identification number
- Easy retrieval of information from the central database. This is because with the launch of the new PAN series, the segregation and recording of data was done more effectively
- Matching all financial information mapped against a single PAN, so that all loan details, credit and debit details as well as investment details could be tracked to a single customers and thereby reining in tax evasion.