New Delhi, August 14: The government made it mandatory for individuals having a permanent account number (PAN) to link it to their existing Aadhaar number from July 1. A senior Income Tax Department officer informed that more than 9.3 crore Permanent Account Numbers (PAN) have been linked with Aadhaar till date. After amending the income tax rules, the government made quoting the 12-digit identification number or Aadhaar enrolment ID compulsory while applying for PAN. Aadhaar number 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 I-T department to a person, firm or entity.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the policy-making body of the department has, however, extended the last date for citizens to link their Aadhaar number with their Permanent Account Number to August 31. It said that for the purpose of e-filing of returns (by August 5), it would be sufficient to quote Aadhaar or acknowledgement number of having applied for Aadhaar, on the e-filing website of the department. “The actual linking of PAN with Aadhaar can be done subsequently, but any time before August 31, 2017,” the CBDT had said.Linking of the two important documents is mandatory for filing tax returns, opening of bank accounts and financial transactions beyond a threshold.
As per statistics mentioned on the Income Tax Department website, the total number of ‘Registered and Aadhaar Linked’ is 3,10,20552 while the number of people who are ‘Not-Registered but Aadhaar Linked’ is 1,48,41826. There are about 30 crore PAN numbers allotted, while Aadhaar has been allotted to about 115 crore people. In the last week, Minister of State for Electronics and IT P P Chaudhary informed that the Unique Identification Authority of India has deactivated close to 81 lakh Aadhaar numbers till date. Chaudhary informed the Rajya Sabha saying, “Till date, approximately 81 lakh Aadhaar numbers have been deactivated. The state, year- and reason-wise data is not maintained by the UIDAI”.
The total PAN-Aadhaar seeding, which is nearly 30 per cent of the total about 30 crore PAN holders, about three crore linkages were done in June and July, a report by PTI informed. “By August 5, which was the last date for filing Income Tax Returns (ITRs), over 9.3 crore PAN-Aadhaar linkages have been registered by the I-T department,” the official was further quoted. The tally is expected to grow as the CBDT has already extended the last date for linking the two unique numbers till August 31.
In June, the Supreme Court had upheld the validity of an Income Tax Act provision making Aadhaar mandatory for allotment of PAN cards and ITR filing but had put a partial stay on its implementation till a Constitution bench addressed the issue of the right to privacy. On June 10, the CBDT had said that the apex court’s order had only given a “partial relief” to those who did not have an Aadhaar or an Aadhaar enrolment ID, and the taxman, hence, “will not cancel” the PAN of such individuals.
The CBDT had also cautioned taxpayers that ITRs would not be processed “until the linkage of Aadhaar with PAN is done“. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had recently informed the Lok Sabha that the government has not fixed any time frame to complete the linking of Aadhaar with PAN. E-filing of ITR is mandatory for all individuals, except those earning less than Rs. 5 lakh per annum and those who are above 80 years of age.