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Soon Aadhaar may be the only I.D proof you need

27 March 2017
Here's why you need to ensure your Aadhaar card is always with you!

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But what happens in Parliament spreads like wildfire.  This time, it’s about Finance Minister (FM) Arun Jaitley’s statements about the Aadhaar Card.

Aadhaar Card will be made mandatory for filing Income Tax (IT) returns, the FM said. He also believes that it could replace all the other existing identity cards.

But Aadhaar was voluntary, right?

The Supreme Court (SC) made Aadhaar voluntary for the citizens in September 2016. This means the government’s plan to make Aadhaar mandatory goes against the SC’s judgement. That’s why, Parliamentarians like Bhartruhari Mahtab, a BJD member, questioned the statement.

That’s when the FM clarified that making Aadhaar compulsory for tax purposes could help them curb tax-evasion.

Related: 7 benefits of Aadhar Card

How can Aadhaar help cut tax-evasion?

A lot of tax-evaders have multiple PAN cards. There have been cases of people using as many as 5 PAN cards. In contrast, every individual has only 1 Unique Identity Number (UIN). Every Aadhaar is linked to this UIN, and the individual’s biometrics. Moreover, the FM said that 98% of the adults in the country have an Aadhaar Card. So, people will have to rely on their single UIN/Aadhaar Card for all their tax-related activities. Thus, it could make it be difficult for people to evade taxes.

Will there be a single identity card in the future?

Aadhaar is already linked with government subsidies. All the subsidies are directly transferred to your bank account. This helps plug extra subsidies and saves money for the government. You can also use it to transfer your provident fund money to your pension account. Going forward, it could replace all existing identity cards too such as a voter card, ration card, PAN card, etc.

What does it mean for people without an Aadhaar card

You will require your Aadhaar number for filing your IT return or applying for a PAN card after 1 July 2017. However, the government has made provisions for people who do not have an Aadhaar card. Such people can quote their Aadhaar enrolment number. This will be an indication that they have applied for the card.

The bottom line

A single identification card could save a lot of trouble for people as well as the government. However, it could spell trouble for those who have not applied for an Aadhaar Card or end up losing it in the future. And whether or not this significant decision will improve the tax system, only time can tell.

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