Budget 2019: Aadhaar, PAN Steps To Expand Tax Base, Say Experts
In the Union Budget for 2019-20, the government has provided “interchangeability of PAN (Permanent Account Number) and Aadhaar” to enable individual assessees to file income tax returns (ITR). The Aadhaar number or Unique Identity Number (UID) is a 12-digit identification number issued by the UIDAI or Unique Identification Authority of India under its biometrics-based personal identification programme Aadhaar, whereas the PAN is a 10-digit alphanumeric number issued by the Income Tax Department. The announcements on PAN will lead to a stronger taxpayer base, say tax experts.
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Budget in Parliament on July 5, said more than 120 crore citizens of the country now have Aadhaar. “Therefore, for ease and convenience of taxpayers, I propose to make PAN and Aadhaar interchangeable,” she said.
- The Finance Minister said that individuals not having PAN will be allowed to file income tax returns “by simply quoting their Aadhaar number”. The assessees will also be able to quote Aadhaar wherever they are required to furnish PAN.
- This means that the taxpayer will have the option to furnish Aadhaar under the Income Tax Act wherever quoting of the PAN is required.
- The Income Tax Department will allot PAN to such individuals – who do not have a PAN and choose to quote Aadhaar instead. In other words, the taxman will obtain demographic data from the UIDAI to issue a PAN to such individuals.
- Additionally, individuals with their Aadhaar linked to their PAN will also get the option of using Aadhaar in place of PAN under the I-T Act.
- Tax experts say that such interchangeability may not mean that PAN is no longer required.
- “If Aadhaar furnished by a person who already has a PAN it will be linked to PAN. For people who don’t have a PAN, based on Aadhaar, their PAN will be issued as soon as possible and sent to him/her,” said Amit Maheshwari, Partner, Ashok Maheshwary & Associates LLP.
- “This will be interesting for high value transactions where PAN has to be quoted. It will expand tax base,” he added.
- In the first budget of the re-elected National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, the Finance Minister also proposed quoting of PAN or Aadhaar on a mandatory basis for high value transactions.
- Meanwhile, the Income Tax Department earlier this year extended the due date for assessees to link their Aadhaar with PAN to September 30. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) – the apex policymaking body of the Income Tax Department – has said that “unless specifically exempted”, the cut-off date for intimating Aadhaar and linking it with PAN is September 30. Previously, the taxman had set March 31 as the due date for PAN holders required to file an income tax return to seed their Aadhaar number.