The last day for individuals to link their PAN (permanent account number) with Aadhaar is tomorrow, i.e. 31 December 2019, unless the government decides to extend the deadline again. For those who miss the deadline, their PAN may become “inoperative” as soon as 2020 starts.
A tweet by the income-tax department last week said: “Not linking your PAN with Aadhaar on or before 31st December, 2019 shall make your PAN inoperative.” However, the definition of the word “inoperative” is not very clear yet.
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 31 December 2019, or whether an individual will have to re-apply for a new PAN again.
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. Though 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. Still, a formal notification from the government seems necessary in this regard to clear doubts.
Meanwhile, 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.