Permanent account number now mandatory in Nepal


Kathmandu : Taking a cue from its southern neighbour India, the new government of Nepal has begun a campaign to increase tax collections by making it mandatory for individual earners as well as institutions to have a permanent account number (PAN).

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Nepal’s first President Ram Baran Yadav Monday became its first head of state to have a PAN, followed by Vice President Paramananda Jha and Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal.

The finance ministry allocated Yadav the PAN 100000001 while in Jha’s case, it is 100000002 and 100000003 for the prime minister.

According to the new regulation laid down by Finance Minister Surendra Pandey, all individual citizens with an yearly income of NRS 160,000 or above and couples with an annual income of NRS 200,000 or more have to get a PAN now.

House owners letting out to government agencies and other organisations as well as car owners renting out their vehicles would also need to have a PAN.

The PAN is now mandatory for professionals like engineers, chartered accountants, lawyers and even actors as well as people buying shares worth over NRS 1 million.

At present, there are about 350,000 institutions and people holding the PAN. The drive is aimed at netting at least 250,000 more this year.

There is rampant tax evasion in Nepal and the Maoist government last year began a drive to offer amnesty to tax defaulters if they paid up within a specified period.