Aadhar and PAN linking extended to December 31

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Aadhar and PAN linking extended to December 31

01 September 2017
The final deadline to link Aadhaar and PAN is around the corner, here are the few things you need to know
 
 

After numerous reminders and a few extensions, the government has announced that the deadline for linking Aadhaar and PAN is 31 December 2017. Explaining the move, the finance ministry said in a statement, “To facilitate ease of compliance by the taxpayers, CBDT has extended the date for linking Aadhaar with PAN till December 31, 2017”.

Relief for taxpayers
The extension comes as a relief for taxpayers, as the due date for filing Income Tax returns and audit reports has also been postponed by a month. This means that tax payers, who are liable for filing returns by 30 September, can now do so by 31 October. 

Challenges for the government 
The Aadhaar linking project is facing certain legal challenges on the basis that it violates privacy, raising questions about whether it should be used as a part of other services. 
News about the extension came just days after the Supreme Court’s ruling, which said that privacy is a fundamental right that is protected under Article 21 is the Constitution. This ruling will influence the lives of 134 crore Indians. But how would Aadhaar linking project react to this? 
The Supreme Court verdict will not affect the Aadhaar linking project because the current usage of unique identity numbers upholds the reasonable restriction that has been outlined in the Supreme Court’s verdict. 

Related: What you need to know about linking your Aadhaar and PAN card?

How does government view the move?
The government views the linking of Aadhaar and PAN as an “effective anti-evasion measure” that will help in curbing black money. The government also believes that asking citizens to provide fingerprints and an iris scan does not in any way violate privacy. 

What is the take of UIDAI?
“The requirement for Aadhaar being quoted for availing government subsidies, welfare schemes and other benefits will also continue unhindered for now”, Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO of UIDAI, told PTI. He added that the data would not be shared without the consent of the person, and that there are currently several privacy protection provisions included in the Aadhaar Act itself.

Related: Locking your Aadhaar card biometrics can prevent misuse

What is unchanged?
The unique identity card is required for certain services like getting a cooking gas at a subsidized rate, for opening a bank account or for getting a new mobile number. 
The government extended the deadline for linking Aadhaar and PAN cards (31 December 2017) from the original date - 31st July. The reason for the extension was there were complaints from taxpayers saying that they were unable to link the two cards on account of differences in names in the two databases.

What does it mean for taxpayers?
An amendment in the Income-Tax Act makes it mandatory to link PAN and Aadhaar cards. This means that under this act, linking the two documents will still be necessary despite the ruling from the Supreme Court.  

Related: Has your Aadhaar been deactivated? Here's what you have to do

Implications of not linking Aadhaar and PAN card 

  • Income Tax Returns (ITR) will not be processed and therefore, will be considered null and void
  • IT department may send you a notice under section 142(1)
  • You may have to pay a penalty of Rs. 5000 for not filing ITR on time
  • You won’t be able to carry forward your losses, for example, capital losses etc.
  • No refunds

For those who do not currently possess an Aadhaar card, their PAN cards will not be deactivated or be deemed invalid. However, it will have to be quoted when conducting any financial and banking transactions. Eventually, even those without an Aadhaar card will have to register for one, and link it with their PAN card once they receive it. 

 
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