Filing income tax returns is not enough, you need to link Aadhaar with PAN before deadline ends
August, 31st 2017
Aadhaar and PAN need to be linked despite the Supreme Court's decision that the Right to Privacy is a fundamental right. The government had made linking Aadhaar with PAN mandatory, but because the Aadhaar debate is based around right to privacy, we do not know if there could be a change in policy of linking the two in the future. This will, of course, depend on the verdict of the three-judge bench who will decide on whether Aadhaar breaches right to privacy.
For now, tax payers will have to link their Aadhaar to their PAN, and the last date to do so is August 31, according to Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). Also, UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan had clarified that the "taxpayers will have to link their PAN with Aadhaar by the stipulated deadline, which is 31st August, as the Supreme Court verdict on privacy has no bearing on the requirement."
The deadline had been extended from July 31 to August 31 after many tax payers could not link the two documents due to difference in names. It is not yet confirmed what will be the exact implication of not linking the Aadhaar with PAN. But the Income Tax Department may not process your ITR, which means that even if you have filed your tax returns, it may be considered void.
"For the purpose of e-filing return, it would be sufficient as of now to quote Aadhaar or acknowledgement No. for having applied for Aadhaar in e-filing website. The actual linking of PAN with Aadhaar can be done subsequently, but any time before 31st August, 2017. However, the returns will not be processed until the linkage of Aadhaar with PAN is done," the Income Tax Department had said. This essentially means if the ITR is not processed, tax payer will not get the income tax refunds.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said it would hear a batch of petitions on Aadhaar-related matters in November after the Centre informed that it will extend till December 31 the deadline to furnish Aaadhar to avail benefits of social welfare schemes, the PTI reported. There is no word yet on the issue of linking Aadhaar with PAN from the Supreme Court. So, unless it passes an interim order saying it's not mandatory to link Aadhaar with PAN, tax payers will have to link the two.