Linking Aadhaar and permanent account number or PAN has helped the tax department track high value transactions of Rs 33,000 crore, which were sought to be suppressed by individuals who now face the risk of action if the department finds evidence suggesting transactions do not match disclosed income. 

The I-T department is pushing individuals to link PAN with Aadhaar and so far 17.4 crore individuals of the 37 crore with PAN have complied. The number of taxpayers who have linked Aadhaar in the PAN database and filed income tax returns adds up to almost 4.4 crore. The idea was to catch those who had multiple PANs, ostensibly to avoid paying taxes and mask transactions.

But the exercise has come in handy to also detect transactions which would have earlier escaped scrutiny. Several transactions such as purchase of vehicles, sale of immovable property or opening bank fixed deposits require an individual without a PAN to fill up what is called Form 60 or 61. False declarations by people claiming that they did not have a PAN was detected as in many cases, the A adhaar number which was shared was matched with the number issued by the I-T department, sources told TO

This analysis for 2016-17 and 2017-18 identified 1.65 cr non-PAN transactions reported through Form 61 (used by those who have agricultural income but no PAN) where the individual had the number issued by the I-T department but had not mentioned it while undertaking the transaction. 

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