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To ensure that Income Tax Returns have been e-filed successfully, there are two things that a taxpayer must take care of – i) linking of Aadhaar number with PAN card and ii) quoting Aadhaar number in the Income Tax Returns. As per Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, which was implemented on July 1 2017, every person who is eligible to obtain Aadhaar is mandated to quote Aadhaar number or Enrolment ID at the time of applying for PAN or filing return of income. This move should lead to increased tax collection and more authentic tax filing.
When an individual now applies for a PAN card, he or she will be asked to provide the 12-digit Aadhaar number, which is backed by biometrics. Through this, the government is able to identify the real PAN holder through the Aadhaar biometric. Also, linking them i.e. Aadhaar with PAN and ITR helps strengthen the rules set in place concerning cash transactions post demonetization.
For the purpose of e-filing Income Tax Returns, an individual has to follow the below steps to link Aadhaar with PAN:
Step 1 - Go to the Income Tax Portal for e-Filing.
Step 2 - Click on "Link Aadhaar", under the "Quick Links" section.
Step 3 - The individual will be directed to the “Link Aadhaar” page.
Step 4 - Enter the following fields correctly: PAN, Aadhaar Number, Name and Captcha Code. If the birth year is mentioned on Aadhaar card, select the square that reads "I have only year of birth in Aadhaar Card".
Step 5 - Click on "Link Aadhaar" at the bottom of the page to complete the process.
After the individual has submitted a request to link Aadhaar number to the Income Tax Returns, he or she has to follow the below steps to track the status of the same.
Step 1 - portal.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/e-Filing/Services/AadhaarPreloginStatus.html
Step 2 - Enter PAN and Aadhaar number.
Step 3 - Click on “View Aadhaar Link Status”
The individual now has access to the status of his or her Aadhaar link request.
PAN card and Aadhaar card are both very important identity proofs, essential for financial transactions, registrations, etc. The government has been urging all entities to link their Aadhaar cards with their PAN cards. The reasons for doing this are as follows:
Prevents tax evasion - Given that the Aadhaar card is a biometric verified identification, it is nearly impossible for anyone to hold different Aadhaar numbers. Through the linking of the Aadhaar number with PAN, the government is better able to track individuals and entities' taxable transactions, which means the government will have a record of each and every taxable transaction or activity. When the government has details of all the financial transactions and the taxes that are levied on them, it is not possible for an individual to evade tax.
Puts a stop to fake PAN cards - When a person applies for more than one PAN card, he or she might be tempted to misuse it by using one to carry certain transactions and pay taxes, while the other one to carry out a different set of financial transactions and hide the same from the Income Tax Department. Through the linking of PAN with Aadhaar card, the government is able to link the identity of an individual via his or her Aadhaar card, thus having all the details of the financial transactions made through the linked PAN card.
Earlier the process of filing income tax was slightly different. One would need to mail a copy of their PAN card along with form 16, investment proofs and other necessary documents to the Income Tax office. The issue here was not only that the individual had to maintain all the papers and mail them on time, the tax filing process was also difficult to keep track of. It wasn’t always possible to warn those who didn’t file their taxes on time, or those who skipped doing it altogether. Additionally, individuals who had filed their taxes on time didn’t actually have a solid way of knowing whether their papers had reached the income tax office before the due date.
Through e-filing and Aadhaar linking, the whole process has become much simpler. All that the individual has to do is log on to the Income Tax Portal for e-Filing and submit his or her returns. Also, the facility to upload all the documents has simplified the whole process, and individuals do not have to worry too much about the hassles involved with paperwork. Another boon of e-filing is that people can keep track about what is happening at every stage. One gets a prompt confirmation of filing - both at the time of filing as well as on the registered email address.
As seen above, the whole process of linking PAN with Aadhaar is quite simple and the time taken is hardly a minute or two. All that the taxpayer has to do is enter his or her Aadhaar number, PAN number and Name (as per Aadhaar) on the Income Tax e-Filing website. After this is done, a pop-up message will appear, stating that the Aadhar card has been successfully linked to the PAN card. In case there is any mismatch between the details of PAN and Aadhaar, like name, date of birth or gender, the PAN will not be linked to Aadhaar. The taxpayer will first have to get the details to match and then try to link them again.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes has extended the deadline for Aadhaar-PAN linking until March 2019. This is the fifth time that the government is extending the deadline.
Do NRIs have to provide their Aadhaar card to file tax returns in India?
In India, only a resident Indian can sign up for an Aadhaar card. Those who have resided outside the country for over six months in the last 12 months do not have to quote Aadhaar.
Is Aadhaar card mandatory for Income Tax Return?
Yes, quoting Aadhaar number is mandatory at the time of filing Income Tax Returns. The Income Tax Rules state that returns cannot be e-filed unless an Aadhaar number is mentioned.
What information should I provide to register Aadhaar in the Income Tax e-Filing website?
You only need to mention your Aadhaar number when you are filing your Income Tax Returns. No other information pertaining to your Aadhaar has to be mentioned.
How to reset password through Aadhaar at the Income Tax e-Filing website for an individual user?
A registered user can choose from any of the four means to reset the password on the Income Tax e-Filing website:
Is it mandatory to link Aadhaar number in e-Filing profile at the Income Tax website?
Yes, Aadhaar as well as PAN have been made mandatory for e-filing taxes. In case this is not done, tax returns shall not get processed.
How to file Income Tax Return without Aadhaar card?
No, it is not possible to file Income Tax Returns with an Aadhaar number. The Income Tax rules still state that returns cannot be e-filed unless an Aadhaar number is quoted. However, exemption has been given to a few individuals from quoting Aadhaar in the ITR. They are:
How to link Aadhaar card to PAN card online?
Aadhaar card can be linked to PAN card on the Income Tax e-Filing website. Follow the below steps to link Aadhaar with PAN:
In case there is any mismatch between the details of PAN and Aadhaar, like name, date of birth or gender, the PAN will not be linked to Aadhaar. The taxpayer will first have to get the details to match and then try to link them again.