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Just 23 cr PAN cards linked with Aadhaar ahead of Mar 31 deadline

Friday, February 08, 2019

Just 23 crore PAN card holders -- over half of the total PAN card holders -- have so far linked their cards with biometric ID Aadhaar, even as the deadline to link the two comes to an end on March 31, 2019.

Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Sushil Chandra said the Income Tax department has so far issued 42 crore permanent account numbers (PAN), of which 23 crore have been linked with Aadhaar.

Supreme Court has made it mandatory that Income Tax returns will be filed with Aadhaar and the last date for linking PAN with Aadhaar is March 31.

"By linking with Aadhaar, We will know whether there are any duplicate PAN or not. And there are certain duplicate PANs... If it is not linked, we may cancel the PAN also," Chandra said while addressing an Assocham event.

The Supreme Court in September last year had declared the Centre's flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid.

A five-judge constitution bench had held that while Aadhaar would remain mandatory for filing of I-T returns and allotment of PAN, it would not be mandatory to link Aadhaar to bank accounts and telecom service providers cannot seek its linking for mobile connections.

Chandra said, once Aadhaar is linked with PAN and PAN is linked with bank account, the I-T department can find out spending pattern and other details of the assessee. Also since many agencies are linked with Aadhaar, it would be easier to gauge whether the benefits of welfare schemes are availed by eligible persons.

Chandra said, so far this year 6.31 crore returns have been filed, which is much more than 5.44 crore persons who had filed last year. So far 95 lakh new taxpayers have been added by department.

"It is not absolutely true that if we reduce tax rates, compliance goes up. During this year we have followed the policy of finding the non-filers... We have got third party information and we are checking whether persons are filing returns or not, whether adequate income being shown," he said.

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