All Indian nationals are designated to apply for a biometric identity card with a 12 digit unique identity number and it is referred to as the Aadhaar card.
Based on biometric and demographic data obtained by the Unique Identification Authority of India, the government has created a centralized database which can be used for availing various services associated with public welfare.
Aadhaar cards are considered a proof of residence and the government is trying to link this unique identity card with a number of citizen services.
The Aadhaar card was not created with a particular purpose. It was designed to serve as a one stop identity card which will be universally acceptable as a proof of identity, age and residence, when applying for any government service.
Indian citizens can also use Aadhaar for availing government subsidies. So far, the government has introduced several schemes to link Aadhaar with other services such as banking, taxation and availing subsidies on LPG connection.
Similarly, Aadhaar can now be linked with your PAN card to file income tax returns and to apply for new PAN cards.
The PAN or Permanent Account Number is the unique 10 digit code that is used by Indian citizens to pay taxes. All transactions that attract tax are linked with the PAN card to ease the tax computation process.
A recent Supreme Court mandate has directed all tax paying entities in the country to link their PAN card with their Aadhaar account. The apex court has also clarified that it is mandatory to have an Aadhaar card not only to file income tax returns but also to apply for a new PAN.
Besides, all banking transactions above Rs50,000 can be carried out only if your Aadhaar and PAN is linked. But, how do you link Aadhaar with the PAN card? There are a number of ways to get your Aadhaar linked with the PAN. Let’s find out how you can do it easily.
Registered Users of Income Tax e-filing website
All registered users of income tax e-filing website are likely to have their Aadhaar linked with their PAN if they have provided the details during the last assessment years.
If you have already provided Aadhaar details while filing income tax returns, you can check at the website – www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in
If Aadhaar and PAN is already linked, you can relax and file tax returns at the end of the financial year. To check whether both accounts are linked or not, log into the website by entering your PAN, password and date of birth.
When you have successfully logged in, go to ‘Profile Settings’ and click on the last option ‘Link Aadhaar’. If you have successfully completed the process earlier, it will show a message ‘Your PAN is already linked to Aadhaar number XXXX0123’.
If your PAN is not linked to Aadhaar, a separate form will appear. You are required to provide personal details such as name, date of birth and gender. The details must match the ones provided during registration on the e-filing portal.
Check and verify the details with the ones mentioned in your Aadhaar card. If the information is correct, enter the Aadhaar number and captcha code provided on the site. Now, click ‘Link now’ and wait for a pop-up message. It will confirm that PAN and Aadhaar has now been successfully linked.
Non-registered users of income tax e-filing portal
If you are not registered on the e-filing portal, you can still link Aadhaar with PAN through this website. Click on ‘Link Aadhaar’ hyperlink on the website. It will give you access to a form where you can fill in personal details including name as per Aadhaar, PAN and Aadhaar number.
If you only have the year of birth mentioned in your Aadhaar card, tick on ‘I have only year of birth in Aadhaar card’. View the captcha code and enter it correctly. Click submit and a message will be displayed on your screen informing you that your PAN has been successfully linked with Aadhaar.
How to Link Aadhar to PAN Card
Link Aadhaar with PAN via SMS
If you do not have access to the e-filing portal, you can still link Aadhaar with PAN through SMS. The Income Tax Department has made it clear that both the accounts can be easily linked by an SMS based facility.
All you need to do is send a SMS to 567678 or 56161 from your registered mobile number. Type UIDPAN > SPACE><12 DIGIT AADHAAR> SPACE>< 10 DIGIT PAN and send it to 567678 or 56161.
For instance, if you Aadhaar number is 123456789000 and PAN is AAAPA2222S, you have to type UIDPAN 1234567890000 AAAPA2222S and send it to the above mentioned numbers. SMS charges will be applicable for this service.
Manual linking of Aadhaar and PAN
Apart from the online linking facilities, there is also a manual method for linking PAN with Aadhaar. This also takes care of the problem faced by taxpayers who find a mismatch of data in their PAN and Aadhaar card.
Users can visit NSDL or UTIITSL centers, which work as PAN service centers to complete this task. You will be asked to fill up a form ‘Annexure-I’ and provide supporting documents including a copy of the PAN and Aadhaar card.
But, keep in mind, this is not a free service. A prescribed fee is charged from individuals for manually linking the two documents. The fee varies depending on the corrections made in your Aadhaar or PAN details. If there is any correction in your PAN details, you have to pay Rs110.
Changes made to Aadhaar card details, on the other hand, will cost Rs25. If there is a major mismatch, you may even have to undergo biometric authentication to verify the data.
Things to Remember
The deadline for linking your Aadhaar and PAN has been extended to 31st March 2019, which is the last date of the financial year 2018-19. Failing to link your Aadhaar and PAN will prevent you from getting returns after filing income tax returns and apply for new PAN.
You also need to check that all information given in your Aadhaar and PAN are identical before linking the two. In case of mismatches, it is always recommended to get them corrected before linking. The Income Tax Department has introduced an online facility for correction of PAN details.
If you go to the online e-filing portal, you’ll find two hyperlinks, one directing you to the application of PAN page and the other for updating changes to existing documents.
To make changes in your Aadhaar card details, log onto the Aadhaar SSUP (Self Service Update Portal) and make the necessary corrections. You can also upload scanned documents for verification and updates.
Is Aadhaar and PAN Linking Necessary for NRIs?
Although, linking Aadhaar and PAN has been mandated by the Supreme Court, it is not necessary for NRIs to hold an Aadhaar card if he or she wants to apply for a PAN card.
The law states that NRIs who stayed for less than 182 days in India within the last 12 months, need not worry about an Aadhaar card.
If you are an NRI and want to apply for a new PAN, leave the space for Aadhaar number blank and provide the latest bank account statement from the country of your residence.
Reasons for Making Aadhaar and PAN Linkage Mandatory
By now you must be wondering why the apex court of the country has made it mandatory to link your Aadhaar and PAN.
There are a number of reasons for this. The Central Board of Direct Taxes or CBDT was trying to link PAN and Aadhaar for a long time and the deadline has been extended for the fifth time.
The Supreme Court has also passed a mandate stating PAN and Aadhaar must be linked for income tax return filings.
It is expected to help the government root out tax thefts. A lot of fake PANs are already circulating in the system and various entities as well as individuals are involved in this dubious activity to escape tax filing.
Once a PAN is linked to a certain Aadhar number, the problem of multiple PANs for a single entity can be controlled to a large extent. It will also ensure tax compliance. Individuals will no longer have the liberty to cover up transactions.
A number of high value transactions are often carried out without quoting the PAN. This robs the government of precious tax money and in order to curb this menace the Supreme Court has finally nodded in compliance with the CBDT’s request to link Aadhaar and PAN.
It will also smoothen the process of document verification. Once PAN and Aadhaar is linked, all personal data provided during registration will be secured in a central database which can be accessed anytime.
Data verification of original documents is carried out in only 0.2% of the cases now.
Finally, linking PAN with Aadhaar will ease the financial trail. Once details from both cards are linked, information can be seamlessly shared with other jurisdictions. The financial trail will be easy to track and it will put a leash on money laundering and black money.