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Income Tax Department introduces form for offline, manual linking of PAN card with Aadhaar

Apart from the already available online and SMS facilities for linking the Aadhaar with the Permanent Account Number (PAN), the Income Tax Department has introduced a one-page form for taxpayers to manually link their Aadhaar with their PAN. The applicants will be required to mention their Aadhaar and PAN numbers along with the spellings of their names and give a signed declaration that the Aadhaar number provided in the application form has "not been provided" by them for the purpose of linking it with "any other PAN".
"I understand that complete security and confidentiality shall be ensured for my personal identity data provided for the purpose of Aadhaar-based authentication," the taxpayer will state as part of the declaration. "The form is just another procedure, via the paper medium, to link the Aadhaar with the PAN database, as required from July 1. The SMS and online modes are also available," a tax department official said. The department has also formally notified, under a CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes) notification of June 29, the procedure and format for "intimating Aadhaar number to the I-T Department by PAN holder and quoting the same in PAN applications".
Taxpayers have the options of linking their Aadhaar-PAN using a mobile-based SMS service (formatted message to be sent to 567678 or 56161), by logging on to the website of PAN service providers like NSDL and UTIITSL, by personally visiting a PAN service centre or over the e-filing website of the tax department. Similarly, the department has specified in detail the procedure for quoting of Aadhaar in new PAN application and for changes or correction in PAN data.
The I-T department has also specified to the PAN and e-filing service providers that they "shall ensure that the identity of information of Aadhaar holder, demographic as well as biometric, is only used for submission to the central identities data repository of the UIDAI for Aadhaar authentication purpose". "Any deviation from this will be treated as non-compliance to security and confidentiality clause or similar clause of their respective agreements/contracts and may lead to applicable penalty as per their respective agreements/contracts," the department notification said.
The I-T department has clarified that although the PAN shall not be invalidated in the absence of Aadhaar number or its enrolment ID; the taxpayers will no longer be able to file their income tax returns through the online medium. The Supreme Court had last month upheld the validity of an Income Tax Act provision (section 139AA) making Aadhaar mandatory for allotment of PAN cards and ITR filing, but had put a partial stay on its implementation till a Constitution bench addressed the issue of right to privacy.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the policy-making body for the I-T department, stated on June 10 that the apex court's order had only given a "partial relief" to those who do not have an Aadhaar or an Aadhaar enrolment ID, and the taxman, hence, "will not cancel" the PAN of such individuals. Aadhaar has also been made mandatory for applying for PAN with effect from July 1.
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