New Delhi: The income tax department will "only" issue refunds via the e-mode into bank accounts of taxpayers beginning next month and they should link PAN (permanent account number) with their accounts, the taxman said in its latest public communication. 

The department said refunds will be sent to bank accounts as it will issue "only e-refunds from March 1, 2019." 

Link your PAN with your bank account to get your refund directly, swiftly and securely, the department said in a public advisory issued Wednesday. 

The department added that the bank account could be either savings, current, cash or overdraft. 

Till now, the department used to issue refunds to taxpayers either in their bank accounts or through account payee cheques, on a case-to-case basis, depending on the category of taxpayers. 

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The communication added that taxpayers can check if their bank account is linked with their PAN by logging onto the e-filing websites of the department — or 

The communication said that those who have not linked their PAN with their bank account should provide it to their home bank branch and also validate this over the e-filing website of the income tax department.

Recently, the linking of the PAN with the Aadhaar has been made "mandatory" for those filing an income tax return (ITR) and this procedure has to be "completed" by March 31 this year.

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According to data updated till early this month, the income tax department has so far issued 42 crore PANs, of which 23 crore have been linked with Aadhaar.

While Aadhaar is issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to a resident of India, PAN is a 10-digit alphanumeric number allotted by the income tax department to a person, firm or entity.