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Breaking: Know Your PAN No More, as Income Tax Disables Service

Forgot your Permanent Account Number? The Holy Grail of Tax Department in India, PAN card, is one number you should know if you are earning money and filing taxes in this country. However, being human as you are, you may forget it from time to time or won’t have it handy or simply lose your PAN card. What then?

Earlier, by entering a few details like name, status and date of birth you could find out the Permanent Account Number on official Income Tax filing portal. Not anymore. Good riddance? Maybe.

While, the facility was for ease of knowing your own PAN, in case you have forgotten, it was just as easy to know someone else’s PAN provided you know their Date of Birth, name and status – whether they are individual, Hindu Un-divided family, Association of persons, Body of Individuals, Company, Government, Artificial Juridical Person, Local Authority, Firm or Trust.

In the day and age where it is mandatory to link PAN to pretty much all money related services and Aadhaar to PAN, knowing either one of the identification numbers could result in catastrophic loss of privacy. I am saying “could” not “would”. Bad actors look for details like these because they know how to misuse it. 

Income tax department has now removed the “Know Your PAN” service from its website. You can no longer search for anyone’s or even your PAN card number.

Know Your PAN page now throws a 404 error

There has been no official announcement from the Department of Revenue, the centre for direct taxes or the Department of Income tax. The page has been down since October 3, the time I tried to access it.

Just as a sweet reminiscence of the fallen webpage, here’s what it looked like before it was taken down. I can recall it didn’t even need a mobile number OTP verification until a few years ago. Every time my granddad asked me for anyone’s PAN, I would go to the portal and find it for him. He was an income tax lawyer, he had to know the PAN of all his clients but he would repeatedly lose his list and would summon me to help him out.

The old Know your PAN page: To know someone’s PAN details, you need their Surname, name, status and DOB

But it became a little more secure overtime. It became mandatory to enter mobile number to search PAN, that mobile number should be the searcher’s. Once you’ve entered all the details, you will receive an OTP on the mobile number provided. Enter the OTP and you get to see the PAN. 

Maybe it wasn’t that cool after all for anyone to be able to see my PAN details. 

What happens if you forget your PAN?

Unfortunately, there is no way to retrieve it directly as of now. Perhaps Income tax Department will come up with a better, more secure solution in due time. Until then, maybe you can call up your bank and ask them, after due verification, they can share it with you. 

Coin Crunch India is primarily focused on cryptocurrency and blockchain news, however since this development has not been reported by anyone else until now, we decided to do a small update. 

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