There are only seven days left for linking your Income-tax permanent account number (PAN) with your Aadhaar--the deadline is December 31.
Linking PAN to Aadhar is mandatory if you want to file your income tax return. Says Balwant Jain, a Mumbai-based tax expert:
"Those who have not linked their PAN to their Aadhar by this date will find their PAN becoming inoperative." Initially, the authorities had proposed to render the PAN invalid for non-linkage by September this year. However, rendering it invalid would have put a question mark on all transactions done using the PAN prior to that date as well. Jain says, "In order to protect the validity of the transactions that have already been effected, the PAN will now become inoperative by December 31, if it isn't linked to Aadhar by this date." This effectively means that you will no longer be able to use it with prospective effect. All retrospective transactions will remain valid.
That said, an inoperative PAN would most likely be useless for any kind of transactions. After December 31, one will be obliged to quote it along with the Aadhaar number while filing an income tax return (ITR) unless specifically exempted. There are two ways to do do the linking, offline and online.
Here's the step-by-step procedure:
The first step: Check if your PAN and Aadhar have already been linked. Many might have done this already and forgotten about it. For those who are already registered users of the income tax filing website and have filed returns in the past, there's a possibility that the PAN and Aadhaar have already been linked. If you aren't sure, check by visiting the income tax website www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in.
For those who want to log on to the tax website:
Select the "Profile setting" page on the tab bar and select "Link Aadhaar. A box will appear with your details. Once you have checked and verified the details, you will need to provide your Aadhaar number and captcha code and then click the "Link Now" button. You will get a confirmation of your submission in a pop-up message. In case you do not get any message, check your pop-up message setting and unblock it for the income site website.
For those who want to link the two numbers without logging on to the income tax portal:
Visit Incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in and check the option on the left pane titled “Link Aadhaar”. Click on it, and you will get a form. Fill in the required details including your PAN, Aadhaar number and name and enter captcha code. Then click on the “Link Aadhaar” button.
Once the income tax portal verifies your details with UIDAI, it will issue a confirmation that both cards have been linked. And if there is any mistake in the name mentioned on Aadhaar and PAN, you will get an OTP to verify the same.
If there is a mismatch between the PAN and Aadhar data, it is better to get it corrected before trying to link the two numbers.
For those who want to link offline: The income tax department allows you to link the two numbers manually too. You can do this by visiting the closest PAN service provider, or NSDL or UTIITSL. Get the form ‘Annexure-I’ and provide copies of your PAN and Aadhaar. You may have to do biometric authentication in case there is a substantial mismatch between the PAN and Aadhar data.
Usually, any correction in the PAN details will cost you Rs 110. To change the Aadhaar details, the prescribed fee is Rs 25.
For those who want to link via SMS: If you are not able to link the two number online, you can do so using SMS. You need to send an SMS to 567678 or 56161 from your registered mobile number. Type in the following message:
The format : UIDPAN<SPACE><12 digit Aadhaar><SPACE><10 digit PAN>
For instance, if Aadhaar number is 123412341234 and PAN is ABCDE9999S, then you need to key in UIDPAS 123412341234 ABCDE999S TO 567678 OR 56161.
There is no extra fee, but SMS charges as levied by the mobile operator will apply.
Ensure that you link the two numbers before the deadline ends. So, what happens if the PAN becomes inoperative after December 31? Can it be activated if you link the two numbers after the deadline? Sudhir Kaushik Co-founder and CFO Taxspanner say, “Yes, if the income tax department allows you to link the two numbers after your PAN is rendered inoperative.” Experts say nothing is mentioned regarding this as of now, and one will only have to wait and watch. The tax department has not yet defined the meaning of inoperative. So it’s better that you don’t miss the December 31 date.