People making beeline for PAN card, filing IT return in Odisha

Kendrapara: In the wake of demonetisation, there has been a steep rise in the number of applicants for PAN cards and the filing of Income Tax return in Odisha’s Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts.

Tax lawyers are burning the midnight oil to meet the sudden upsurge in filing of income tax returns.

Some tax consultants of Kendrapara said a majority of people are filing tax return for the first time and it has helped create an awareness among the common man on financial management.

Number of applicants for PAN card is also on the rise.

Mostly non-salaried people, especially housewives, small-time businessman, contractual workers and students are applying for PAN card, a tax lawyer said.

“Since past 48 hours, I have received 30 clients who have consulted me. All of them are in possession of PAN cards.

However they were not paying income tax. Now they expressed their desire to figure in the list of tax-payers,” tax practitioner Ananga Kumar Sahu said.

Sahu dealt with over 150 clients who want PAN cards.

“Our daily work has gone up manifold. We are forced to say no to clients as it s practically not possible to provide service to so many people in a short duration,” Sahu said.

Tax practitioners from Paradip also said they are overloaded with professional work after the high-denomination notes were demonetised.

“We have stopped attending to old tax-related litigations of old clients. Rush for PAN card and the filing of tax return has forced us to do so. Lower income groups and non-salaried people form the bulk of such new clients,” another tax lawyer, Sanosh Kumar Sahu, said.

“Acting on the advice of my husband, I have applied for a PAN card. My spouse runs a variety shop. PAN card would come in handy for depositing cash over Rs 50,000 in my bank account,” homemaker 40-year-old Minati Mallik said.

19-year college student, Sandeep Tripathy from Kendrapara town said “PAN card has become a vital citizenship document.

That s why, I consulted a lawyer and have applied for it.”

As people rush to deposit their old high currency notes in the wake of demonetisation, the Income Tax Department has made it mandatory for quoting of Permanent Account Number (PAN) by the depositors.