PAN and Aadhaar card are now equally considered as valid identity proofs for Indian Citizens. Read on to know the similarities between the two documents.
You must link your Aadhaar with Pan Card. This is a statement that one would have come across more often than once in recent times. There has been a constant drive from the government to link these two identification documents. Though both of them are completely different documents and stand for different things, they have two major similarities.
The Finance Ministry and Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) have made a couple of changes to the PAN and Aadhaar cards. As a result, these two identification documents have more in common now than just being two stand-alone identity documents. The income tax department is responsible for issuing the 10-digit PAN, while the UIDAI issues the 12-digit Aadhaar number.
Swapping of PAN and Aadhaar
Since the government has made it mandatory to link Aadhaar with PAN card, there are a few perks of doing the same. As per the latest changes, you can use either your Aadhaar or PAN for filing income tax returns. The decision to use either PAN or Aadhaar for income tax return ensures that people who do not have PAN can also file their income tax returns merely by mentioning their Aadhaar numbers.
Similarly, taxpayers in the country can now mention the Aadhaar number instead of their PAN as and when needed. The only pre-requisite for all this is that you must link Aadhaar with PAN card. To remove any sort of discrepancy, the Central Board of Direct Taxes or CBDT has made it clear that if a taxpayer files for income tax return and they do not have PAN, the CBDT will allot a new PAN to the taxpayer.
This will make sure that you do not have to link Aadhaar with PAN card since it will be done automatically during the creation of PAN. The deadline to link Aadhaar with PAN card has been extended till the 31st of December 2019. While the income tax department has issued more than 41 crore PANs, only 22 crores of them are linked with an Aadhaar number.
Availability of e-Cards
Aadhaar and PAN are now both available in e-card formats, making it the second similarity between both the cards. A digitally signed PDF of e-Aadhaar and e-PAN are equal to their physical cards. If you have a digital copy of these cards, you no longer need to carry their physical copies.
The Aadhaar Act outlines that the Aadhaar number, either in their physical form or electronic form holds good as a proof of identity for an individual. This eliminates the need to carry the physical card on you at all times.
The IT Act of 2000, states that even downloaded copies of Aadhaar or e-Aadhaar are digitally signed by the UIDAI and thus, can be used for legal purposes as well. The presence of the digital signature helps the cause. The UIDAI has also sent out circulars, mentioning that downloaded copies of Aadhaar or e-Aadhaar are a valid alternative to the Aadhaar letter in the printed format.
Now, PAN also receives a similar privilege. You can now get your e-PAN, which is a valid and legal alternative to your PAN. All new applicants of PAN are already being issued e-PAN to their registered email address. Moreover, this is irrespective of which issuing agency you reach out to for creating your PAN, either UTI or NSDL.
If you already have a PAN and are wondering if you can get e-PAN, all that you must do is visit the website of the issuing agency. You can then generate your e-PAN and use it for any further communication or requirement. The income tax department has gone one step ahead with its e-PAN initiative. New applicants even have the option to opt out of physical PAN. In other words, these individuals will never be issued with a physical PAN and they can use their e-PAN wherever there is a need for PAN.
It is important to remember that the deadline to link Aadhaar with PAN card is fast approaching. And you can avail of all the benefits only if you link both the cards. If you are still not sure how to link them, here are all the different methods that you can use to do the same.
How to Link Aadhaar with PAN Card?
You can link Aadhaar with PAN card either online or offline. To link them online, you must visit the income tax portal. You can do that either by logging into your e-filing website account or without logging into the account.
- Without Logging In to Account:
You can visit the website, incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in and look for Link Aadhaar. Post that, you must enter your Aadhaar number, PAN and the name as printed on the Aadhaar and click on Link Aadhaar. If there are any minor mismatches, the website might send you an OTP or One Time Password to verify the details.
- Logging In to Account:
You must login to your income tax e-filing portal account using your User ID, Password and date of birth. You will find the option to link Aadhaar under Profile Settings. The website will provide you with your PAN details and an option to enter the Aadhaar number. You must then click on the Link Aadhaar option to complete the process.
An alternative method to link Aadhaar with PAN card is by using the SMS service. By sending a simple SMS, you can link both the identity documents instantly. To avail of the facility, you must send a specific format SMS to 56161 or 567678.
Example: UIDPAN 987654328765 ABCDE0000F
Once it is complete, you will receive a confirmation that your Aadhaar and PAN link is successful. The deadline to link the documents has been pushed and this offers a cushion for individuals to link the same. Failing to do so within the deadline might result in the interruption of certain services. If you haven’t already done it, what are you waiting for?