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SC in favour of Aadhaar-PAN linking; here's how you can do it

Back in July, the CBDT extended the deadline for the PAN-Aadhaar linking to March 31, 2019, so presumably this deadline stands till further notifications from the government.

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In   New Delhi     Last Updated: June 13, 2019  | 22:00 IST
SC in favour of Aadhaar-PAN linking; here's how you can do it

The Supreme Court today ruled that Aadhaar will be mandatory for obtaining a Permanent Account Number (PAN card) and for filing income tax returns. Put another way, the historic ruling upholds the legality of Section 139A of the Income-tax Act, introduced last year.

According to media reports there are nearly 38 cr PAN card holders in the country and in early March, Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla had informed the Lok Sabha that 16.65 cr PAN cards had been linked with Aadhaar till then.

That means that less than 44% of PANs currently comply with the apex court's latest ruling. So if you have not completed this linkage yet, you'd best get cracking. Back in July, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had extended the deadline for the PAN-Aadhaar linking to March 31, 2019, so presumably this deadline stands till further notifications from the government.

You can easily link your Aadhaar with PAN either on SMS or on the income tax department's e-filing portal. In SMS: Just type UIDPAN 12-DIGIT AADHAAR NUMBER 10-DIGIT PAN space and send it to 56161.

Through the website: Registered users can log on to https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in using their respective user IDs and passwords. To update Aadhaar, go to the "Profile Settings" tab next. Click on "Link Aadhaar" on the drop-down menu that appears. A new form will be displayed. Enter name, date of birth, and gender as per your PAN records. Then enter your Aadhaar number and name.

After you submit the Aadhaar details, a success message will be displayed confirming the linking of Aadhaar with PAN. A confirmation email will also be sent to your registered email ID. If you are a new user, you can register on the portal by entering basic registration details such as PAN card, name, and date of birth.

According to India Today, should there be a minor mismatch between the names on your Aadhaar and PAN cards, an OTP will be sent to your registered mobile number for verification. In case of a major mismatch, you'll have to update either your PAN or your Aadhaar details by going to the UIDAI website.

The Supreme Court's five-judge panel headed by Chief Justice Dipak Mishra also ruled that there is no need to link Aadhaar with mobile numbers and bank accounts. However, in the case of the latter, the ruling clashes with the Reserve Bank of India's updated master circular on know-your-customer (KYC) norms.

In April, the banking regulator had directed that regulated entities will have to obtain Aadhaar number "from those eligible for it" along with their PAN as part of customer due diligence (CDD) while establishing an account-based relationship. Its master direction had added that if an individual does not have an Aadhaar card, "proof of application of enrolment for Aadhaar shall be obtained wherein the enrolment is not older than 6 months and in case PAN is not submitted, certified copy of an OVD [officially valid document] containing details of identity and address and one recent photograph shall be obtained".

Currently, residents of Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and Meghalaya, who are not yet in the Aadhaar net, need to furnish OVD, which includes passport, driving licence and Voter Identity Card, among others. Significantly, the updated guidelines made it clear that in case customers eligible for Aadhaar and PAN do not furnish the same "within a period of six months from the date of the commencement of the account based relationship", their accounts will "cease to be operational" till the time the above details are submitted. In the case of loan accounts, this will mean only credits will be allowed till the details are submitted.

So, in a nutshell, you need at least a PAN card to open a bank account and since PAN-Aadhaar seeding is now mandatory, you basically still need the 12-digit biometric number at the bank. This convoluted logic has the Twitterati on a roll.

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