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Linking Aadhaar to PAN – Last Date and Loopholes

Post July 1st anyone who is filing the Income Tax Returns has to link his PAN and Aadhaar as ITRs without PAN are not possible now.

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Updated:July 25, 2017, 8:38 AM IST
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Linking Aadhaar to PAN – Last Date and Loopholes
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The due date for filing Income Tax Returns for financial year 2016-17 is July 31st 2017. According to Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, every one of those qualified to get the Aadhaar should cite it in their I-T returns after July 1 however there are few exemptions provided as well in limited cases only, like non-residents, foreign citizens, or individuals above 80 years of age. This exemption is also available to those residing in Assam, Jammu & Kashmir and Meghalaya.

Also, post July 1st anyone who is filing the Income Tax Returns has to link his PAN and Aadhaar as ITRs without PAN are not possible now. According to recent data collected by the Finance Ministry, out of 32.41 Crore PAN cards only 8.19 crores were linked with Aadhaar, which is just approximately 25% of Total Permanent Account Numbers. Also, according to government data 11.46 Lakh PAN Cards were cancelled out because multiple PANs had been allotted to one person and 1,544 PANs were marked false as they were registered in the names of non-existent people.

To propagate the Aadhaar Linking with PAN, messages are being sent, ads are being shown on TV by the Income Tax Department of India. The taxman is trying its level best to reach out to more and more people through mass media to inform them that to file income tax returns (ITR) it is mandatory to link their PAN (Permanent Account Number) with Aadhaar.

Despite all this, majority of the tax payers across the country found loopholes and chose to file their ITR manually or online before 30th June i.e. when Aadhaar linkage was not compulsory, all this just to escape Aadhaar linkage.

However, those who did not, they are stuck in a predicament because taxpayers with an income of above ₹5 Lakhs have to mandatorily file their I-T returns online (manual return for those earning above ₹5 Lakhs will not be valid) whereas the ITR can’t be filed online via the e-filing portal of the IT Deptt, if you don’t have an Aadhaar no. or Aadhaar Enrolment number.

At the same time there are people who are skeptical about the credibility of Aadhaar by thinking that it might lead to privacy issues, identity theft, data mining, etc for which a petition is pending with the Supreme Court of India.

In Budget 2017, a penalty of ₹10,000 was incorporated, to be levied on delayed ITRs as late filing fee. However, this does not apply to the Income Tax Returns for Financial Year 2016-17, but still people should not waste time and those who do not possess Aadhaar Card as of now should at least apply for the same and get the Aadhaar Enrollment Number so that they can file their returns of time.
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