With the advent of goods and services tax (GST), the Centre is now planning to integrate the direct and indirect taxation systems for all indirect taxpayers by linking the GST number with the permanent account number (PAN) issued by the income tax department.
The move aims at curbing tax malpractices as cross-checking income tax payments with GST payments is expected to prevent tax evasion.
The moves also would bring the GST-PAN linked system in line with the prevailing PAN-based system for income tax facilitating data exchange and taxpayer compliance.
The new tax regime will be effective from July 1. A PAN-linked system will provide correlation between the payment of direct and indirect taxes and also within the tax authorities administering them, said a senior tax official who is familiar with the development.
GST will subsume all indirect taxes, including central excise and service tax, and the Central Board of Excise and Customs has given provisional registration numbers to indirect taxpayers.
Explaining the advantage of having a PAN-linked number, the senior tax official said PAN had an all-India presence. It has the single largest base of 240 million against 6.56 million registrations, which have been so far made on the GST Network.
The revenue department had earlier examined a proposal to use the Aadhaar for the purpose, but it was dropped since Aadhaar would be issued only to citizens while the business identification number would be for all legal entities, including individuals, companies and partnership firms.
The GST will be rolled out from July 1 and in the run up to the new indirect tax regime various provisions are being notified by the government. Provisions and related rules in the various laws such as Central GST, Integrated GST and State GST have been notified. These included those relating to tax invoice, credit and debit notes, accounts and record, return and payment of tax, assessment and audit and advance ruling.
The tax department has already received several concerns about the migration and implementation of GST. “The industry has concerns on the limited number of GST service providers presently approved and the reliability of the linkage between the firms and application service providers in terms of security and network. Some concerns will also be on the ability of micro and small retailers to be able to submit online returns which the GST regime mandates to be done on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis,” said Suvodeep Rakshit, senior economist, Kotak Institutional Equities.
Although the industry has largely welcomed the move, experts say there would be a short term disruption on account of GST. It would take time for the entities to adjust to the new framework of input tax credit.