PAN-Aadhaar linking deadline extended till March 31, 2019: CBDT order

The CBDT on Saturday extended the deadline for the PAN-Aadhaar linking to March 31 next year.

The tax department’s order was issued hours before the deadline was to end at midnight. It said the Central Board of Direct Taxes, or CBDT “extends the time for linking PAN with Aadhaar (while filing the tax-returns) till 31 March 2019”.

This is the fifth time the government has extended the deadline for individuals to link their Permanent Account Number (PAN) to their biometric ID (Aadhaar).

The policy-making body of the tax department issued an order, under Section 119 of the Income Tax Act, late night, extending the deadline.

The government had last year changed the income tax law to mandate that tax payers quote their Aadhaar number to file income tax returns and to get a new PAN card. Existing Pan card holders were also required to complete the process to link their Aadhaar numbers.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had last extended the deadline on March 27.

The latest order said the deadline for the PAN-Aadhaar linking for filing I-T returns was being extended after “consideration of the matter”.

It is understood that the fresh CBDT order has come against the backdrop of the Supreme Court earlier this year directing extension of the March 31, 2018 deadline for linking Aadhaar card with various other services.

The apex court had ordered that the deadline be extended till the five-judge constitution bench delivers its judgment on petitions challenging the validity of the biometric scheme and the enabling law.

The government has now made quoting of Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns (ITRs) as well as obtaining a new PAN.

Section 139 AA (2) of the Income Tax Act says that every person having PAN as on July 1, 2017, and eligible to obtain Aadhaar, must intimate his Aadhaar number to the tax authorities.

As per updated data till March, over 16.65 crore PANs, out of the total about 33 crore, have been linked with Aadhaar.

Activists have challenged the validity of the Aadhaar law, claiming that forcing citizens to link the unique identification number to various services violates their Right to Privacy. The Supreme Court had last year ruled that privacy was a fundamental right. The large-scale sharing of biometric data like iris scans and finger printing also leaves room for misuse, they have contended.

Source: PTI