The Government of India has made it compulsory for all Indian residents to link their Aadhaar Card with PAN by July 31, 2017. Failing to do so might lead to the invalidation of the PAN card. This move has been in alignment with the government’s effort to digitise and track more tax payers. Linking of the PAN and Aadhaar also fulfils several other purposes.
The need to link Aadhaar with PAN
One of the primary reasons for linking Aadhaar and PAN is for preventing the creation of fake IDs for tax evasion. Considering Aadhaar is a 12-digit number code created using demographic and biometric details, it cannot be copied. With Aadhaar biometrics providing a unique identity for every Indian, faking PAN IDs would become tougher. This linking would reduce the need to produce multiple government IDs for availing subsidies and services. This is also an easy way to track the tax records of people, increase transparency in transactions, and reduce tax evasion.
The Government will have the ability to verify all transactions once all the PAN cards are linked to all Aadhaar Cards. Also, once the Aadhaar is linked to PAN, there is no requirement for the income tax returns verification acknowledgement. This makes the income tax filing process much easier. The link enables the Government to have an updated database of names, addresses and incomes of all Indian residents.
How to link PAN and Aadhaar
Visit the income tax e-filing portal and register yourself. Next, log in with your unique details such as registration identification, password or your date of birth. The registration ID is your PAN card number. Once you are logged in, you will be redirected to a new window to link your PAN and Aadhaar. If a new window doesn’t pop up, then click on the “Profile Setting” option and click “Link Aadhaar”.
All your details such as name, date of birth and gender will be given on the portal. You will have to ensure that they match with your Aadhaar details. Once the details are keyed in, enter the Captcha code and click on the “Link Aadhaar” option. You will get a notification saying that a link has been created between your Aadhaar and PAN.
What if the names do not match?
In response to the tax payers’ complaints about the names not matching on both systems, the Income Tax department has allowed access to the e-filing website to link Aadhaar with PAN card without having to change name. All you have to do is choose the option that says “Name as per Aadhaar”. So, you can enter your PAN number, Aadhaar number, name as per Aadhaar and the captcha code to create a successful link.
What if you don’t hold a PAN card?
There is no hurry if you don’t have a PAN card. Whenever you apply for a PAN card you may provide your Aadhaar Card details as your address proof to build a connect. You can also apply for a PAN card online through e-KYC and e-signature and enter your Aadhaar Card number to be able to subsequently link your new PAN card.
What if you don’t have an Aadhaar Card?
It is advisable to apply for an Aadhaar Card as soon as possible as the Government of India has been trying to link Aadhaar to a host of services, making it the single-most important identification document for all Indian residents. You can apply for a new Aadhaar Card online or by visiting an office nearby.
What if Aadhaar is not linked to PAN?
PAN card access will be lost if it is not linked to Aadhaar by December 31, 2017. You won’t be able to file your income tax returns following the deadline. There have been speculations that PAN cards could become obsolete in future with the Aadhaar eventually replacing them.
The increasing pervasion of Aadhaar indicates an increase in transparency in the system.
(The writer is CEO, BankBazaar.com)