The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), in an announcement on Saturday, has further extended the deadline to link Aadhaar card with PAN card. The new deadline is now March 31, 2019. Earlier, CBDT had fixed June 30, 2018, as the last date for Aadhaar-PAN linking.
This is the fifth instance when the government has extended the deadline for taxpayers to link their Permanent Account Number (PAN) to their Aadhaar.
The latest order said the deadline for the PAN-Aadhaar linking for filing I-T returns was being extended after “consideration of the matter”.
It is understood that the fresh CBDT order has come against the backdrop of the Supreme Court earlier this year directing extension of the March 31, 2018 deadline for linking Aadhaar card with various other services.
The apex court had ordered that the deadline be extended till the five-judge constitution bench delivers its judgment on petitions challenging the validity of the biometric scheme and the enabling law.
The five-judge bench of the court hasn’t yet delivered its ruling whether making Aadhaar mandatory for welfare schemes and financial transactions like getting a loan or filing taxes violates the constitutional right to privacy.
India had launched Aadhaar, now the world’s biggest biometric database, in 2009 to streamline welfare payments and reduce wastage in public spending.
Since then, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been keen to mandate the use of Aadhaar for everything from filing income taxes to the registration of mobile phone numbers and booking railway tickets. Aadhaar is now mandatory for welfare, pension and employment schemes.
The government has now made quoting of Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns (ITRs) as well as obtaining a new PAN.
Section 139 AA (2) of the Income Tax Act says that every person having PAN as on July 1, 2017, and eligible to obtain Aadhaar, must intimate his Aadhaar number to the tax authorities.
As per updated data till March, over 16.65 crore PANs, out of the total about 33 crore, have been linked with Aadhaar.
The earlier deadlines for linking the two databases were July 31, August 31 and December 31, 2017, March 31 and June 30 this year.