The interchangeability between Permanent Account Number (PAN) and Aadhaar, which was allowed with effect from 1 September 2019, has proven to be beneficial for Indian taxpayers in more than one way.
The biggest convenience has been in terms of filing income-tax returns as the taxpayer is now allowed to use his/her 12-digit Aadhaar card number instead of PAN to file returns. But not many know that furnishing incorrect Aadhaar details attract a hefty fine of Rs 10,000.
According to rules, providing incorrect Aadhaar number instead of PAN, or failing to provide either PAN or Aadhaar in specified transactions, or not authenticating biometric identity where necessary will lead to a fine of up to Rs 10,000.
The new penalty is applicable only in cases where the Income-tax department has made it compulsory to use PAN and where Aadhaar is used instead. For instance, while filing ITR, opening bank account, buying mutual funds, bonds worth more than 50,000, or opening demat accounts.
Notably, this fine is levied by the I-T department under Section 272B of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The penalty was earlier limited to furnishing incorrect PAN details, but it was extended to Aadhaar also after the PAN-Aadhaar interchangeability came into effect.
Interestingly, even banks and financial institutions can be fined if they fail to ensure that PAN or Aadhaar are duly quoted and authenticated.
Also, the amount of penalty is Rs 10,000 for every single default. So if a taxpayer has mentioned incorrect Aadhaar details at two different places, then the fine can go up to Rs 20,000.