I-T Rules, 1962 amended: Now, transgender column introduced in PAN form
New applicants will still have to furnish documents for proof of identity, date of birth and address, as accepted under rule 114 (4) of the Income-Tax Rules, 1962.Updated: Apr 10, 2018 22:53 IST
Transgender persons will now be able to obtain a Permanent Account Number (PAN) in their gender of their choice.
According to a notification issued by the finance ministry on Monday said that the Income-Tax (I-T) Rules, 1962, have been amended to include ‘Transgender’ in the gender column of application forms 49A and 49AA.
The new rules — Income-Tax (Fourth Amendment) Rules, 2018 — will come into force on the date of their publication in the official gazette, the note said. New applicants will still have to furnish documents for proof of identity, date of birth and address, as accepted under rule 114 (4) of the Income-Tax Rules, 1962.
Dr Sameera Jahagirdar, a transwoman who had written to the principal commissioner of I-T, Puducherry, in February said, “This will go a long way in easing matters for us. I can finally own a PAN card in my chosen gender.” She currently has one in the male gender.
It is still unclear which documents will need to be submitted to correct the gender on existing cards. The PAN card ‘change request form’ available online does not offer any information on change of gender, either.
Neel Ghosh, a transman based in Kolkata who got the gender on his PAN card modified to ‘male’ in 2017 said, “We need a uniform guideline in place for changing name and gender. Transpersons are harassed by people at these centres, who either reject such applications outright, or ask for documents like medical certificates, which go against the spirit of ‘Nalsa’.”
In 2014, the Supreme Court had passed the landmark National Legal Services Authority (Nalsa) vs Union of India judgment, guaranteeing equal social and legal status to the transgender community and recognised the right of citizens to self-identify gender. The SC also directed state and central governments to ensure that transgender persons have access to welfare schemes and entitlements, which include government-issued identity cards such as PAN and Aadhaar.
However, HT had reported in February that the PAN application forms still did not have a transgender column. The mismatch of gender identity on Aadhaar and PAN cards made it impossible to file tax before the March 31 deadline. It also makes it difficult for transgender individuals to open bank accounts, transfer large sums of money, and register companies.
Last month, in a bid to ease ITR woes, the I-T portal was modified to incorporate e-filing by transgender persons. The move came after several appeals by members of the transgender community.