The government in March 2017 made it mandatory to link the Permanent Account Number Card or PAN Card of an individual with that of the Aadhaar Card while filing income tax return. A PAN (Permanent Account Number) card is a unique 10 character code that is assigned to all taxpaying entities in India. The government has noticed a surge in the total number of applications for PAN card and has also reported that the application for corrections in PAN card has also increased.
The PAN card is issued by the Income Tax Department and links all transactions that attract tax under a single source. This, however, makes it convenient for the government to keep track of the individual’s transactions. A PAN card is necessary for filing Income Tax returns in the country, and all individuals and entities that pay tax, including foreigners are expected to have one. The process of linking of the PAN Card and the Aadhaar Card is to be done before filing your Income Tax Returns in July 2017. As of now, the linking of your Aadhaar to PAN card is before 30 July. If it is not done by then, your PAN card may be rendered invalid.
The Aadhaar card is a unique identification card that is assigned to every Indian citizen. It is issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India, the card is a 12 digit number that serves as proof of identity as well as proof of address. An initiative by the government to have a single identification document for every citizen in the country, the card is a personal identification card that contains the individual’s biometric and demographic information. Nowadays, a number of government services and schemes require an Aadhaar number for registration and verification purposes, thereby making it an important document.
The Supreme Court earlier this month reserved its order on whether to make it mandatory to link Aadhaar card with PAN. The Centre defended in the Supreme Court its decision of making Aadhaar mandatory for Permanent Account Number (PAN) and also for filing tax returns. The Centre cited that it was done to curb the use of fake PAN cards across the country for filing tax returns.
Step by step guide to link PAN card to Aadhaar Card:
- First, log in to the e-Filing portal of the Income Tax Department portal, https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/, if you are not already registered. The window will appear like this.
- After you log in, a pop-up window will appear, prompting you to link your PAN card with Aadhaar card. Details such as name date of birth and gender will already be mentioned as per the details submitted at the time of registration on the e-Filing portal.
- If the details match, enter your Aadhaar card number and captcha code and click on the “Link now” button.
- A pop-up message will inform you that your Aadhaar card has been successfully linked to your PAN card.
- If you have a pop-up blocker active, you will have to go on the “Profile Setting” on the dashboard’s menu bar to click on “Link Aadhar” option.
Things you should know when you link your PAN card to Aadhaar card
- If the details on your PAN card (like the spelling of your name, date of birth or gender) do not match the details mentioned on your Aadhaar card, you will have to submit an application with valid proof and get the details corrected. After this, you may apply to link your Aadhaar with your PAN card.
- You have to make sure that while linking your PAN with your Aadhaar card, you have to make sure that your name, date of birth and gender as displayed on the income tax website matches with the details on your Aadhaar card.
The importance of linking PAN with Aadhaar:
If an individual applies for more than one PAN card, he/she can use one of the cards for a certain set of financial transactions and pay taxes applicable for those. In this process, the other PAN card can be used for accounts or transactions that the entity wishes to conceal from the Income Tax department and hence avoid paying tax on them.
If you are not linking your PAN to Aadhaar, chances are that it might be marked as invalid. The Aadhaar card has been marked as useful or mandatory for many types of application. If you haven’t linked your PAN to your Aadhaar, you should get it done before the July 1.
Once the Aadhaar-PAN linking is done, you can e-Verify your IT returns using Aadhaar and by linking the two cards you will no longer have to submit your Income Tax acknowledgement to the IT department. Another importance of Linking PAN Card with Aadhaar Card is that both are unique identification cards that serve as proof of identity that are necessary for registration and verification purposes. Another very important reason for linking PAN with Aadhaar is to reduce the occurrence of individuals or entities applying for multiple PAN cards to defraud the government and avoid paying taxes.