Last few hours to link Aadhaar with PAN: Everything you need to know
Officials told HT that if deadline is not extended, which was a matter of speculation since Aadhaar has been challenged at the SC, tax returns of those who have not linked the UID and PAN will be scrappedindia Updated: Aug 31, 2017 15:02 IST
Thursday is the deadline for people to link their Aadhaar number with their Permanent Account Number (PAN), which was made compulsory by the government in the Budget this year.
Officials HT spoke to were uncertain if the deadline would hold, since Aadhaar itself was being challenged at the top court. But there was no indication that an extension was in the offing. Here’s what we know so far:
1.The government made it mandatory for people to declare link their Aadhaar and PAN by amending the Income Tax law during the Budget session. It warned that PANs without Aadhaar would be cancelled.
2.Initially, it gave people till July 31 to complete the process. But after many complained that the government’s portal to do it was not working, the deadline was extended by a month.
3.In July, the Supreme Court restrained the government from cancelling people’s PAN.
4.In case the deadline holds, the most significant consequence could be on tax returns filed by people who did not link their Aadhaar numbers. Revenue department officials told HT that ITR’s without PAN and Aadhaar linking will be declared invalid after the deadline.
5.A cancelled ITR can lead to a more serious consequence, because people who do not file a tax return are liable for prosecution. If they file their ITR again with Aadhaar, they will likely be required to pay a penalty.
6.The question on the deadline stems from the Aadhaar challenge in Supreme Court. A three-judge bench will likely decide next month if Aadhaar violates people’s privacy, which was ruled to be a fundamental right in a hearing last month.
7.The uncertainty regarding Aadhaar’s fate led the government this week to relax deadlines on requiring people to declare the 12-digit unique identity in order to receive welfare benefits. But that deadline pertains only to schemes such as free cooking gas cylinders for poor families.
8.The landmark privacy verdict by the SC on August 24 said the fundamental right would come with reasonable restrictions such as measures in the interest of national security and law enforcement. The separate set of judges will likely decide if Aadhaar enjoys immunity under these conditions.