Breaking News – If Not Linked to Aadhaar, over 17.5 Crore PAN Cards May Become Inoperative after March 31

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NSDL Breaking NewsIf Not Linked to Aadhaar, over 17.5 Crore PAN Cards May Become Inoperative after March 31

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Over 17.5 core PAN (Permanent Account Number) cards in the country may be made inoperative by the Income-Tax Department if the cardholders fail to link them with their respective Aadhaar IDs.

An amendment in the Finance Bill, 2019 gives the IT department the authority to do so. “If a person fails to intimate the Aadhaar number, the permanent account number allotted to such person shall be made inoperative after the notified date in the manner as may be provided by rules,” reads Clause 41 of Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act.

Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister of State for Finance, announced in the Lok Sabha that a whopping 17.58 crore PAN card holders are yet to link their Aadhaar with PAN, while 30.75 crore PANs have already been linked till January.

Notably, the government had recently extended the due date to link the 10-digit PAN issued by the income tax department with 12-digit Aadhaar number for the eighth time from 31 December 2019 to 31 March 2020.

“The extension of due date for linking of PAN with Aadhaar will benefit these PAN holders as they will get extra time to link their PANs with Aadhaar,” Thakur said in the Lok Sabha.

An “inoperative” PAN card would basically restrict individuals in carrying out financial transactions where quoting PAN is mandatory. The income-tax rules prescribe 18 such financial transactions which include filing income-tax returns, sale or purchase of vehicles (excluding two-wheelers), opening bank accounts, applying for a credit or debit card, opening a Demat account or any cash transaction above Rs 50,000.

Yet, it is not clear whether the existing PAN can be re-activated if Aadhaar is linked after the due date, or whether an individual will have to re-apply for a new PAN card.

Also, further clarification from the finance ministry is needed on whether an individual can quote his/her Aadhaar number to complete financial transactions if the PAN becomes inoperative. Although, this seems unlikely as rules clearly say that the Aadhaar number can be used interchangeably with PAN, only if the individual does not have PAN, or if the PAN is already linked to Aadhaar. A formal notification from the government is necessary to clear the doubts.

For those who are yet to link their PAN with Aadhaar, visit the income tax department’s e-filing portal to complete the process. You can also check the status of your PAN-Aadhaar linking if you have already completed the same.