The Income Tax Department has been allowed to share the PAN data of an individual or entity with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to dig deeper into suspicious and large cash transactions at banks.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), which frames policies for Income Tax rules in India, has issued an order on 16 July allowing the two agencies under the Union Finance Ministry to share the data.
The FIU is the nodal central agency that is authorised to obtain cash transaction reports (CTRs) from public and private sector banks every month and after analysing these, it forwards the suspicious or intriguing reports to various law enforcement, investigative and intelligence agencies so that they can launch their individual probes to check possible instances of money laundering, tax evasion and terror financing that could have been perpetrated using the dubious cash.
Banks have to furnish a CTR to the FIU every month "incorporating all transactions over Rs 10 lakh or its equivalent in foreign currency or a series of integrally connected transactions that add up to more than Rs 10 lakh or its equivalent in foreign currency," a PTI report said
The FIU is empowered to get the CTRs under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
As per the procedure, banks provide the CTRs to FIU with only the PAN (permanent account number) that was mentioned on the transaction slip or record and that does not include any other details like name of the PAN holder and other information about them.
The CBDT order said that if the FIU has the PAN then the taxman will share the name of the PAN holder, their father/husband's name, address, date of birth or incorporation date (in case of companies), the year of filing the last income tax return, gross total income range, turnover range and some other information will be provided by the I-T department to the FIU.
In case the FIU does not have the PAN for a cash transaction report, the tax department will provide it "a dump of PAN database to enable it to search..."
"While furnishing the information, the specified income-tax authority shall form an opinion that sharing of such information is necessary for the purposes of enabling the FIU to perform its function under its respective laws," the CBDT said.