Fraudsters noting commuters PAN number printed on railway reservation charts and forwarding it to jewellers for performing benami transactions.
The next time when you provide PAN number while booking railway tickets rethink twice as it is likely to be misused by fraudsters. Railways have been displaying commuters PAN number on the reservation charts which are often misused by vested interests. Passengers have already complained with the railways in this regard. PAN card is one of the ten identity proofs which a commuter has to provide while reserving railway tickets. Jewellers have been misusing passengers PAN number details for performing benami transactions.
A man has been arrested for providing the passenger details printed on railway reservation chart to jewellers. This information proves to be a boon to jewellers for saving tax.
Central Railway PRO AK Singh said, “It is not necessary for passengers to provide their PAN card details and instead they can submit copies of other documents like ration card, voter ID, aadhar card etc.”
This wrong usage of a PAN number is known only to the regular tax payers, who check their tax credit on form 26 AS provided by the Income Tax department on their website. It takes almost 6 to12 months time for the PAN holder to know that a transaction of above nature has taken place in his name and only if he goes through Form 26AS.
A traveller recently noticed a person copying PAN particulars along with name, age and sex pasted on reserved compartments. When confronted with the help of railway police, he admitted that he received Rs 10 per PAN particulars from jewellers. These persons are copying PAN information of senior citizens, women etc from sleeper class with the intention that passengers in sleeper class are not serious tax payers and generally salaried class.
According to a businessman, Sanjay Kumar, open display of PAN card numbers on the charts could land any passenger in trouble if his PAN card number is used for wrong purpose. Thus, it would be in the larger interest of the railways and passengers to avoid use of PAN card numbers.
In an attempt to combat black money, the Government of India by Finance Act 2012 has made it mandatory for certain traders like jewellery dealers to collect tax (TCS) from customers on purchase of jewellery exceeding Rs.5 lakhs.
While fulfilling with TCS rules for collection, payment and uploading of TCS information (E-filing of TDS returns), jewellery dealers have to furnish PAN of customers. For certain customers, it is not convenient to provide PAN as they may have restrict in explaining the source. In such cases to accommodate high net worth customers, unscrupulous traders have an easy source of benami PAN particulars from reserved railway passengers chart.
Victims have to face the heat from the Income Tax department for the transaction. They have to struggle to prove that transaction was not done them.
Mohit Kamboj, president of India Bullion and Jewellers association said, “I am shocked after hearing this news. If anybody is found guilty then strict action will be taken against him.”
“In fact, financial fraudsters and jewellers are always on the lookout for PAN details, just like phone numbers and e-mail IDs are sought by marketing companies, online fraudsters and bulk spam mail senders. This crucial information is bought by fraudsters and jewellers to keep their transactions clean on paper,” said an Income Tax official.