PAN-Aadhaar linking: Here's what you can do in case details are not matching
If the linking is not done, PAN of the person will be invalidated and it will be assumed that the person has not applied for PAN.
Through a recent budget amendment, the Government has made it compulsory for all persons having Permanent Account Number (PAN) to get their Aadhaar number linked to it. If the linking is not done, PAN of the person will be invalidated and it will be assumed that the person has not applied for PAN. This is effective from 1 July, 2017. Not having a PAN has significant repercussions.
In order to provide respite to genuine cases of taxpayers who have applied for an Aadhaar number, the Government has allowed such persons to quote their enrolment number of the Aadhaar application form in the Income-tax return that is due for filing on 31 July, 2017.
People started facing practical challenges in the linking process. In many cases name, date of birth and gender as per PAN database and Aadhaar database had a mismatch.
Writ petition before the Supreme Court: Considering the issues faced, taxpayers filed writ petitions before the Supreme Court asking the Government to justify its move. The Government stated that people had obtained fake PANs which were being used to fraud the Government and Aadhaar being a unique number, linking of PAN with Aadhaar would curb such malpractices. The Supreme Court upheld the linking of PAN and Aadhaar proposed by the Government.
Relief given by Income-tax department: After observing genuine cases of mismatch in name as per Aadhaar data and PAN data (name being spelt in different ways/wrongly, initials missing, initials jumbled etc), the Income-tax department has provided some relief to taxpayers.
The Income-tax department has issued a press release giving a simple solution to overcome these minor issues in mismatch of name as per Aadhaar data and PAN data. Taxpayers can go to www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in and click on the link provided on the left hand side ‘Link Aadhaar’ -> Enter PAN -> Enter Aadhaar number -> ENTER NAME EXACTLY AS GIVEN IN AADHAAR CARD (avoid spelling mistakes) -> click submit. After verification from UIDAI, the linking will be confirmed.
In case of minor mismatch such as name in Aadhaar provided by taxpayer when compared to the actual data in Aadhaar database, the Income-tax department will send a One Time Password (“OTP”) to the mobile number given at the time of obtaining Aadhaar number to facilitate the linking.
The linking will fail only in cases where the name provided is completely different from name given in PAN database and there is mismatch in date of birth and gender as per the databases.
Exemptions provided to the linking
The Income-tax department has recently released a notification providing list of taxpayers who will not be required to link PAN and Aadhaar number. The categories of individuals covered in this notification are as follows:
• A resident of Assam, Jammu & Kashmir or Meghalaya; or
• A non-resident as per Income-tax Act; or
• A person of age 80 years or more at any time during the previous financial year (April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017 was the last financial year); or
• A person who is not a citizen of India.
Author’s advice: If the taxpayer does not fall under the list of exempt individuals, he/she should check details as per PAN card and Aadhaar card (name, date of birth and gender). If the details are matching or there is minor mismatch in name, link their PAN and Aadhaar number by using the link provided by the Income-tax department at the earliest. The linking should be completed on or before 30 June, 2017 in any case to ensure that PAN is not invalidated.
In case the details are wrong in either PAN card or Aadhaar card, the taxpayer should immediately initiate the correction. The Income-tax department has provided a link on its website www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in for the correction. Click on the link provided on the left hand side of the page ‘Link to Correct Names’. This will take you to a link to correct details in PAN/ Aadhaar database. The taxpayer can enter correct details and submit proof for the same online and ensure correction at the earliest. In case of correction in Aadhaar details, the taxpayer should save the correction enrolment number and quote it in his income-tax return that is due for filing on 31 July, 2017.
(The author is partner, direct tax practice at BMR Advisors -- a rax, M&A and risk & advisory services firm. The article has been written with inputs from Chandra Prakash Agarwal,
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