Nearly a quarter of 30 crore PAN holders have linked their unique alphanumeric number with Aadhaar, with over one crore such seedings happening last month. The jump in the number came after the government made it clear that the PAN-Aadhaar linking was mandatory from July 1 for filing of income tax returns (ITRs) and for obtaining a new Permanent Account Number (PAN).
Out of the about 6.44 crore e-filers registered on the e-filing website of the income tax department, a senior official said, the Aadhaar-PAN linking had been done in about 3.06 crore cases. "The total number of PAN-Aadhaar linkages is about 7.36 crore, as per latest figures updated till today. Seeding of over a crore Aadhaar numbers in the PAN database has come about in the last one month," the official said.
The income tax department had recently made it clear that taxpayers without the Aadhaar number or its enrolment ID would not be able to e-file ITRs from July 1 even as it had said that in "no case" any PAN would be invalidated. A senior official had clarified that people who were not able to link their Aadhaar with PAN by July 1, would have the option to mention the UIDAI-provided number in the e-ITR and this would be considered a valid linking of the two unique numbers.
E-filing of the ITR is mandatory for all individuals except those earning less than Rs 5 lakh per annum and those who are above 80 years of age. The Supreme Court had last month upheld the validity of an Income Tax Act provision making Aadhaar mandatory for allotment of PAN cards and ITR filing, but had put a partial stay on its implementation till a Constitution bench addressed the issue of right to privacy.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the policy- making body for the I-T department, had said on June 10 that the apex courts order had only given a "partial relief" to those who did not have an Aadhaar or an Aadhaar enrolment ID, and the taxman, hence, "will not cancel" the PAN of such individuals. Aadhaar has also been made mandatory for applying for PAN with effect from July 1.
While Aadhaar is issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to a resident of India, PAN is a 10-digit alphanumeric number alloted by the I-T department to a person, firm or entity. There are about 30 crore PAN numbers allotted, while Aadhaar has been alloted to about 115 crore people.