It seems like the Aadhaar-PAN linkage scheme has received a temporary reprieve. Despite stern warnings over the last few days from the Income Tax (I-T) Department, the Indian government yesterday extended the deadline by four months for linking Permanent Account Number (PAN) with Aadhaar to December 31.
The government had made mandatory the linking of the two databases for filing Income Tax Returns (ITRs) and the deadline for linking the two was set at August 31, failing which ITRs would not be considered.
Earlier, the Centre had on Wednesday told the Supreme Court of India that it would extend the deadline to furnish Aadhaar details to avail benefits of various social welfare schemes till December 31.
Section 139 AA (2) of the Income Tax Act says that every person having PAN as on July 1, 2017, and is eligible to obtain Aadhaar, must intimate his Aadhaar number to the tax authorities.
However, those categorised as non-resident Indians (NRIs) as per the Income Tax laws, people who are not citizens of India, those above 80 years of age and residents of the states of Assam, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir had been exempt from the requirement.
The tax department had on July 31 stated that “unless a finding is made that Aadhaar is constitutionally not valid, tax return filers will need to link their PAN with Aadhaar by August 31, 2017.”
It had further stated that “income-tax returns filed will not be processed should tax filers fail to link Aadhaar and PAN on or before August 31, 2017.”
Incidentally, December 31 is also the deadline for people to link their bank accounts with Aadhaar. Tax filers, however, were allowed to file their annual income returns by August 5 without linking their Aadhaar with PAN. They were to just quote Aadhaar or the acknowledgement number for having applied for the ID.