New Delhi, August 31, 2017
There is good news for taxpayers as the income tax department has extended the deadline to link PAN with Aadhaar by 4 months to December 31.
The department had earlier said that tax returns filed without linking of Aadhaar and PAN would not be taken up for processing unless the two were linked by August 31, 2017.
This is a huge relief to those who had filed their income tax returns (ITR) by the due date of August 5, 2017, but were not able to link their PAN with Aadhaar by August 31, 2017.
The revenue department will notify December 31 as the due date for linkage. This comes at a time when the government has granted a similar extension for the furnishing of Aadhaar for availing the benefits of various social welfare schemes.
Also, the Supreme Court is hearing petitions challenging the government's decision on Aadhaar and has posted the matter for next hearing in November.
Section 139 AA (2) of the Income Tax Act says that every person having PAN as on July 1, 2017, and is eligible to obtain Aadhaar, must intimate his Aadhaar number to the tax authorities. However, those categorised as non-resident Indians as per income tax laws, people who are not citizens of India, those above 80 years of age, and residents of Assam, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir had been exempt from this requirement if they do not have Aadhaar or an Aadhaar enrolment ID.
The tax department had on July 31 stated that "unless a finding is made that Aadhaar is constitutionally not valid, tax return filers will need to link their PAN with Aadhaar by August 31, 2017."
Incidentally, December 31 is also the deadline for people to link their bank accounts with Aadhaar.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in a press release dated July 31, 2017, had extended the deadline to file ITR by 5 days to August 5. Additionally, taxpayers were allowed to link PAN with Aadhaar any time before August 31, 2017 in order for their ITRs to be taken up for processing by the department. The press release of July 31 can be read here .
The deadline for filing ITR was extended because many taxpayers were unable to file their ITRs as they could not link Aadhaar with PAN. The tax department had received several complaints from taxpayers expressing their inability to link the two identification numbers as their names in the Aadhaar and PAN databases were different.
The deadline to link PAN with Aadhaar by August 31, 2017 was meant for those who had filed their ITR by August 5, 2017 but had not linked PAN with Aadhaar. However, if you are not required to file ITR as per income tax laws, i.e., your total income is below the exemption limit of Rs 2.5 lakh in a financial year, the deadline to link the same is yet to be notified by the government.
[The Economic Times]