Be ready to shell out Rs 10,000 if you give wrong Aadhaar number to authorities

While the income tax department has allowed citizens to cite Aadhaar card number instead of PAN card, it has also put stringent rules in place.

Be ready to shell out Rs 10,000 if you give wrong Aadhaar number to authorities

To make life easier for the citizens of India, the Income Tax Department has now allowed the usage of Aadhaar 12-digit biometric identity number in lieu of the PAN card number wherever the latter was compulsory. 

Use of Aadhaar number instead of PAN number is as per the latest amendment to the Income Tax Act of 1961, as presented in the Finance Bill 2019. However, this convenience comes at a price.

What is the penalty?

New income tax rules state that citing a wrong Aadhaar number will invite penalty fees of Rs 10,000. This is applicable for every mistake you make regarding your Aadhaar number. For example, if you give a false Aadhaar number or make a mistake while filing your income tax returns, it will cost you Rs 10,000. If you give a wrong Aadhaar number while opening a bank account, that will be another Rs 10,000. Essentially, a fine of Rs 10,000 will be levied for every default.

Earlier this fine was limited to invalid PAN card numbers – that is the failure to obtain, cite and authenticate PAN. But since the Aadhaar – PAN interchangeability has come in force from last year, this fine has been extended to Aadhaar card as well.

Related: Income Tax Returns: Who should file them and when?

When will you be fined?

However, it is important to note that this penalty only comes into play where Aadhaar number is used instead of PAN number, not when Aadhaar number is used by itself. So scenarios will include filing ITR, opening a bank account, opening Demat account, making investments such as bonds, mutual funds, buying insurance, etc.

You will also be penalised if you fail to produce a PAN or Aadhaar number altogether in transactions that deem it compulsory.

Also, transactions that require biometric authentication will not suffice with just Aadhaar number. A fine will be levied if you fail to provide biometric authentication.

Related: 7 benefits of Aadhaar Card 

Who is imposing the fine?

While the Unique Identification Authority of India issues Aadhaar cards, the fine is not imposed by them. The Income Tax Department imposes it.

In addition to citizens of India, this fine will also be enforced on institutions such as banks and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs). They will have to pay if they do not ensure that the PAN or Aadhaar of every customer is quoted and authenticated in every transaction – whether it is when giving loans, selling investment products, buying forex or making a bank transfer of large amounts, among other things. Did you know that locking your Aadhaar card biometrics can prevent misuse? Read this article to know how to keep your identification proof safe.

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