It is not an easy task to get the refund and to complicate the issue further, Unique Transaction Number is made mandatory, though it is kept in abeyance at present. Further, it is now stated that if PAN is not provided, tax will be deducted at 20 per cent. TDS limit may please be raised to Rs. 50,000 to help the middle-class senior citizens.
The plea of senior citizens certainly deserves attention. The limit for tax deduction at source should have been correspondingly increased so that there is no deduction of tax only to be refunded in most cases. In fact, revision is necessary not only in the case of senior citizens but also for others in view of increase in exemption limit.
As for the punitive rate of deduction of tax at source, where PAN is not given, it overlooks that Form 60 substitutes PAN, so that it is not necessary to overload the system with Permanent Account Numbers of persons, who are not likely to have any prospect of liability. Form 60 gives all particulars necessary for the identification of the payee, so that the requirement of PAN, where it is not statutorily required on the part of the taxpayer, cannot justify substitution of normal rate of tax deduction by a punitive rate. In fact, Sec. 139A requires PAN only on specified conditions relating to turnover of income. Many persons, who make investments, may not fall either within the turnover limit of Rs. 5 lakh, unless they are either charitable institutions or employers liable for fringe benefits tax or any other class of person, so far notified under this section. The normal rate should apply, where either PAN is cited or Form 60 is available so as to spare not only the citizens but also the system.