The deadline to link Aadhaar card and Permanent Account Number (PAN) card ends today – June 30, 2018, as the government has announced no further extension in deadline after postponing it for four times earlier.
In a press release, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had announced that after the deadline of June 30 ends, all PAN cards that are not linked with Aadhaar card will become invalid under Section 139AA (2) of the Income Tax Act. Albeit the deadline for linking the biometric ID card with PAN card has been extended four time by the government due to uncertainty about the usage of Aadhaar as a mandatory document, there has been no further extension in deadline beyond June 30. On the other hand, no notice has been released by the government regarding the deadline either – leading to a lot of confusion.
The chartered accountants opine that although not linking PAN and Aadhaar could lead to grave consequences, they believe that deadline is very likely to be extended. As per government data till March, just 16.65 crore PAN cards of a total of 33 crore have been linked with respective Aadhaar cards – leaving out about half of the cards vulnerable to being invalidated from July 1. On the other hand, the Supreme Court’s stay during latest hearing on Aadhaar case was that all the government must withdraw all mandates and deadlines applied to link Aadhaar card with various documents and government services.
Based on the Income Tax Act and Supreme Court’s stay, there is a risk of PAN being considered as invalid in relation to persons who have Aadhaar but have not linked the same to PAN by the due date. So it is absolutely unclear of whether the unlinked PAN cards will remain valid on and after July 1, 2018 or not, but to be on safe side, it is advisable to link Aadhaar and PAN before midnight falls. It can be done online through the income tax department’s website, or opt for linking Aadhaar and PAN by sending prescribed format of SMS to either 56161 or 567678.