Aadhaar-PAN Linking: Income Tax Department Introduces One-Page Form To Link The Two Documents

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Apart from online methods and SMS facility, the IT Department has introduced a one-page form for taxpayers to manually apply for linking their Aadhaar with Permanent Account Number (PAN).

New Delhi: The government has made it mandatory for taxpayers to link Aadhaar numbers with PAN for filing Income Tax returns. If taxpayers are unable to link the two identification documents, they will not be able to file income tax returns. To lessen the burden on taxpayers and help them link their Aadhaar card to PAN card easily, the Income Tax Department has introduced a one-page form for taxpayers to manually apply for linking their Aadhaar with Permanent Account Number (PAN). This facility is available for taxpayers apart from the available online methods and SMS facilities.

As there was a huge rush to link Aadhaar card to PAN card due to fear of the July 1 deadline, many users faced trouble linking the two cards as the income tax site crashed but was however restored. The website was running slow and taking time to load as people across the country were scrambling to get their documents in place.  The newly introduced form is just another procedure by a paper medium, to link the Aadhaar with the PAN database, as required from July 1. Aadhaar is issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to a resident of India while PAN is a ten-digit alphanumeric number allotted by the I-T department to a person, firm or entity.

In the newly introduced one page form by the IT department, here’s what a taxpayer should do:

  1. The taxpayer will have to mention both PAN and Aadhaar numbers, the spelling of the names mentioned on them
  2. After this, the taxpayer has to give a signed declaration that the Aadhaar number provided in the application form has “not been provided” by them for the purpose of linking it with “any other PAN”.
  3. “I understand that complete security and confidentiality shall be ensured for my personal identity data provided for the purpose of Aadhaar-based authentication,” the taxpayer will state as part of the declaration.

The government, while amending income tax rules and notifying the same, made quoting of 12-digit biometric Aadhaar or the enrollment ID a must at the time of applying for a Permanent Account Number (PAN) from July 1.  The Income Tax department has also formally notified, under a CBDT notification of June 29, the procedure and format for “intimating Aadhaar number to the I-T Department by PAN holder and quoting the same in PAN applications”.

There are various other methods too by which taxpayers can link their Aadhaar-PAN.  A taxpayer can log on to the Income Tax website and link the two using simple steps. One can also use a mobile-based SMS service by sending to 567678 or 56161. The Aadhaar and PAN can be linked by PAN service providers like National Securities Deposit Limited (NSDL) and UTI Infrastructure Technology and Securities Limited (UTIITSL), by personally visiting a PAN service centre or over the e-filing website of the tax department, PTI reported.

The Income Tax department has also specified to the PAN and e-filing service providers that they shall ensure that the identity of information of Aadhaar holder, demographic as well as biometric, is only used for submission to the central identities data repository of the UIDAI for Aadhaar authentication purpose.

The notification by the IT department said, “Any deviation will be treated as non-compliance to security and confidentiality clause or similar clause of their respective agreements/contracts and may lead to applicable penalty as per their respective agreements/contracts”.

The Aadhaar card has also been made mandatory for applying for PAN with effect from July 1.  It has also been mandatory to avail benefits of many government schemes.  The total number of PAN numbers allotted are over 25 crore while the total number of Aadhaar cards that have been allotted is to about 115 crore people.The Income Tax department so far has linked a total of 2.90 crore Aadhaar numbers with its PAN database.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes, the policy- making body for the I-T department, said that linking of Aadhaar and PAN will be a “must” for the filing of ITR and obtain PAN card from July 1. In the last month, the Supreme Court had upheld the validity of an Income Tax Act provision (section 139AA) making Aadhaar mandatory for allotment of PAN cards and ITR filing. On June 9, the Apex Court upheld the law linking Aadhaar with PAN but said cards without UID linkage will not be considered invalid, for the time being. It said the law must be applied prospectively. The government notification states “every person who has been allotted PAN as on the 1st day of July, 2017 and who in accordance with the provisions is required to intimate his Aadhaar number, shall intimate his Aadhaar number” to the income tax authorities.