Union Budget 2019: In a major step that will boost tax return filings in the nation, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that now “PAN and Aadhaar will be made interchangable.” She also said that “tax returns can be filed with Aadhar number.” However, tax returns can only be filed via Aadhaar in case a person doesn’t have a PAN card. However, it is not clear whether Aadhaar will still remain mandatory for filing income tax returns following the Supreme Court order. In March earlier this year, the government had extended the deadline for linking PAN with biometric ID Aadhaar by 6 months till September 30, as per an official statement. In June last year, the government had said that PAN has to be linked with the biometric ID by March 31.
"....now the cut-off date for intimating the Aadhaar number and linking PAN with Aadhaar is September 30, 2019, unless specifically exempted," the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said in a statement.
The apex court, in September last year, had declared the Centre's flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid and held that the biometric ID would remain mandatory for the filing of I-T returns and allotment of PAN. A five-judge constitution bench had, however, said that it would not be mandatory to link Aadhaar to bank accounts and telecom service providers cannot seek its linking for mobile connections.
The Supreme Court in its order upheld section 139AA of the Income Tax Act. 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.
(With agency inputs)