- Date : 12/05/2018
- Read: 7 mins
Haven’t linked your Aadhaar and PAN cards yet? Don’t know who it is meant for, or if it is necessary? Maybe this can help.
Whether you are a taxpayer or not, you are certainly aware of the importance of Aadhaar card, and the buzz around linking it with your PAN Card. Here are some details you must know.
What is a PAN?
PAN or Permanent Account Number (PAN) is a 10-digit alphanumeric number, issued by the Income Tax Department, which comes in the form of a laminated card.
What is an Aadhaar Card Number?
Aadhaar card number (12-Digit Unique Identity Number) is an individual identification number issued by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). Aadhaar Cards are issued by the Government of India to individuals of all ages, to establish unique identities, and provide these 7 benefits.
Related: 7 Benefits of Aadhaar Card
What are the benefits of Aadhaar card when linked to PAN Card?
Recently, the government asked all Indian citizens to link certain documents with Aadhaar Card. Here are some points that explain the importance of Aadhaar card and PAN Card linking.
- Getting rid of Fake PAN Cards
This linking will help the government weed out fake PAN cards that individuals use in order to conceal their taxable income and pay less or no taxes at all.
- Identify tax evaders
Currently, a PAN card is essential for paying taxes. Since PAN is a necessary KYC requirement for bank accounts, linking the Aadhaar with PAN will automatically link an individual’s Aadhaar with his/her bank accounts. This will make it easier for the Income Tax Department to track everyone’s transactions, and the tax they should be paying.
- Curbing black money circulation
Financing illegal activities such as drug trafficking becomes easy with fake identities. Once a PAN card is linked to an Aadhaar card, it will eliminate the possibility of these activities.
- Easy for Taxpayers to file returns
Currently, taxpayers need a PAN card to file income tax returns. The government has now made it mandatory to provide Aadhaar Card details too while filing IT returns. Another benefit of Aadhaar and PAN card linking is that it will enable individuals to file their returns online, without any hassle. This also means that taxpayers will no longer have to send acknowledgements to the IT department.
Important things to note when linking your Aadhaar and PAN Cards
First, ensure your details on both these documents are identical (name, gender, date of birth) for the linking to be successful.
In case your name is different on both the documents; for instance, Document A has your initials, but Document B has your full name. Or Document A was made with your maiden name, but Document B has the name you chose after marriage.
The Income Tax Department has offered two ways to correct this problem.
- On 14 May 2017, the Income Tax Department launched an online facility for correcting errors on both PAN and Aadhaar Cards. All you have to do is click on the links mentioned below and follow the steps to rectify the errors.
- For correcting errors on PAN - https://www.onlineservices.nsdl.com/paam/endUserRegisterContact.html
- For correcting errors on Aadhaar Card - https://ssup.uidai.gov.in/web/guest/update
- Alternatively, you can link the two without changing your name on either document. This can be done by generating an OTP and uploading a scanned copy of your PAN Card on the IT Department’s filing website. HOWEVER, your date of birth must match on both documents.
How to link your PAN Card and Aadhaar Card?
There are two ways to link your PAN and Aadhaar Cards.
- Go to the Income Tax Department website (www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in). In the left pane, click on 'Link Aadhaar'
- An application form will open where you will have to fill out the following details:
- Aadhaar Number (12 Digits)
- Name as per Aadhaar (Avoid spelling errors here)
- Captcha Code
- Click on the 'Link Aadhaar' button
If your details (Name, DOB, and Gender) on Aadhaar card match your PAN details, the linking will be confirmed.
In case your DOB and Gender match, but Name is a partial match, you will get an OTP on the mobile number registered with your Aadhaar. After providing this OTP the linking will be confirmed.
For this method to work, the first step is to register yourself on the Income Tax e-Filing portal. If you’re already registered, follow the steps mentioned below:
- Log on to the Income Tax Department website (https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/)
- Once logged in, a window will pop up, prompting you to link your Aadhaar card and PAN card. If it doesn’t show up, click on 'Profile Settings' (present on the top bar) and click on the last link there - 'Link Aadhaar'
- Your registered details with the portal will already be mentioned. Fill up the rest in case any field is blank.
- Verify that these details match the details on your Aadhaar card. Once verified, enter your Aadhaar card number, Captcha Code and click on the 'Link Aadhaar' button.
After the verification, a pop-up message will inform you that your Aadhaar card has been successfully linked to your PAN card.
Is the Linking Mandatory?
For taxpayers, the linking is a must. The latest bill passed by Lok Sabha makes the Aadhaar Card mandatory for filing IT returns, under the Finance Act 2017.
If an individual fails to provide Aadhaar Card details or proof of having applied for Aadhaar, income tax returns cannot be filed from July 1, 2017.
Also, failing to link your Aadhaar and PAN cards will result in the invalidation of your PAN Card. This means your PAN Card will not be considered as identity proof. Another glitch would be - without a valid PAN you would be unable to buy property worth more than Rs. 10 Lakh.
For those exempted from paying taxes, since the Supreme Court has already stated that it is not mandatory for citizens to obtain an Aadhaar card, the linking of Aadhaar card and PAN card cannot be made mandatory. The issue surrounding the constitutional validity of Aadhaar is pending in the Apex Court since 2013. The Apex Court is also hearing another on-going petition challenging the state's decision to make the linking mandatory. Although some say that the linking must be done by December 2017.
To summarise, if you are a taxpayer, consider linking these two documents by July 1, 2017. However, if you aren’t, we suggest you wait for the Supreme Court’s verdict before deciding whether or not you want to link both these documents.