Aadhaar must for filing tax returns from July 1

Ivan Schwartz
June 11, 2017

But, based on the court ruling, the government has, for now, kept the linking of PAN cards with Aadhaar on the tax department website voluntary. "Therefore, this provision needs to be read down by making it clear that it would operate prospectively", the Supreme Court held.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the policy-making arm of the tax department, said the apex court had only given "partial relief" to those who do not yet have an Aadhaar or an Aadhaar enrolment ID, and the taxman, hence, "will not cancel" the PAN of such individuals. "Those who do not have an Aadhaar will have to apply for one in the next 20 days if returns are to be filed after July 1".

A bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan said that those who already possess Aadhaar number will have to link it with PAN, but it can not be insisted upon in case of people not possessing Aadhaar card.

According to an advertisement published by the tax department, Aadhaar - a 12-digit number issued by Unique Identification Authority of India or UIDAI based on the demographic and biometric information of the person - can be linked with PAN by sending an SMS to 567678 or 56161.

The statement follows Supreme Court judgment on Friday after a clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Section 139AA of the IT Act, introduced by way of the Finance Act of 2017 in March this year. For this to work, your PAN and Aadhaar details need to match.

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It also said that PAN card without Aadhaar number would not be treated invalid till the Constitution bench decides the larger issue of Right to Privacy.

"Those who have already enrolled themselves under Aadhaar scheme would comply with the requirement of sub-section (2) of Section 139AA of the Act".

The court exempted assessees who are not Aadhaar card holders from the ambit of the proviso to Section 139 (2).

If the PAN is cancelled, then a person can not do his normal banking and financial operations and hence this relief is given.

"125. Having said so, it becomes clear from the aforesaid discussion that those who are not PAN holders, while applying for PAN, they are required to give Aadhaar number". "Though fake PANs is a threat, Parliament should consider "toning down" the consequences of Aadhaar-PAN linking", the court said.

Other reports by GizPress

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