Aadhaar mandatory for filing I-T returns from 1 July: CBDT

A day after the Supreme Court upheld the validity of the law making Aadhaar lining of PAN mandatory for filing income tax returns, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said on Sunday that the Aadhaar card will be mandatory for filing Income Tax returns and applying for Permanent Account Number (PAN) from 1 July 2017.

"Those allotted PAN as on July 1 and have Aadhaar number or are eligible to obtain it, shall intimate Aadhaar number to Income Tax authorities for linking PAN and Aadhaar," the CBDT said in a statement.

While the apex court had put a partial stay, exempting those without Aadhaar for now, CBDT made it clear that the Supreme Court's ruling was only a "partial relief," to avoid "non- compliance" where a person does not possess Aadhaar.

"Only a partial relief by the Court (SC) has been given to those who do not have Aadhaar and who do not wish to obtain Aadhaar for the time being, that their PAN will not be cancelled so that other consequences under the Income Tax Act for failing to quote PAN may not arise," the CBDT said.

If the PAN is cancelled, then a person cannot do his normal banking and financial operations and hence this relief is given. But, it has been made clear that for filing of ITR or to obtain a new PAN, Aadhaar will be mandatory from 1 July, a senior I-T official explained.

Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act provides for mandatory quoting of Aadhaar or enrollment ID of Aadhaar application form for filing of income tax returns and making application for allotment of PAN with effect from July 1 this year.

While delivering Friday's judgement, the Supreme Court bench had noted that the purpose behind enacting section 139AA of the Income Tax Act is to check the menace of black money as well as money laundering and also to widen the income tax net so as to cover those persons who are evading tax payment.

You can link your Aadhaar and PAN via the e-filing website. For this to work, your PAN and Aadhaar details need to match. But, in case of a discrepancy, you will soon be able to link via OTP, according to the I-T Department.