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The Government of India has made it mandatory for all individuals to link their Aadhaar number with their PAN number. This deadline was recently extended up to 31st December 2019. It is necessary to quote and link Aadhaar number while filing ITR unless specifically exempted. It should be noted that an individual cannot file his/her ITR without linking both.

There have been numerous speculations on the Government’s order for Aadhaar linking with various public and private services availed by citizens across the country. On September 26th of 2018, the Supreme Court of India declared the Government’s Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid but ruled against some of its provisions including its linking with bank accounts, mobile phones and school admissions. However, it upheld Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act that mandates the linking of PAN with Aadhaar to complete IT returns filing.

The newly upgraded Income Tax e-filing portal makes it a breeze to link your PAN with Aadhaar to facilitate convenient filing of your Income Tax returns from the comfort of your home.

There are 3 ways in which an individual can do this.

  • If you are a registered user of the Income Tax e-Filing portal
  • On the homepage of the Income Tax e-Filing portal for non-registered users
  • Linking through SMS

The steps to link your Aadhaar with PAN are simple and easy to follow whichever way you choose. We have tried our best to provide you the steps and the supporting screenshots to help you with the linking.

If you have registered on the Income Tax e-Filing portal to file your tax returns, you can link your Aadhaar under the Profile Settings tab using the ‘Link Aadhaar’ option.

Click on the ‘Registered User? Login Here’ button. You will be required to enter your PAN number, the password and the Captcha given on the page to login. Once you login, you will be presented with a screen similar to the one below. Here, go to the ‘Profile Settings’ tab and click on ‘Link Aadhaar’ option.

Registered users of the Income Tax e-Filing portal
Registered users of the Income Tax e-Filing portal

In many cases, the linking is already done by the portal based on your previous tax records. So, when you click on this option, you might get a message like “Your PAN is already linked to Aadhaar number XXXX XXXX 1234”. If they are not linked, you will get a form to enter your details like Name, Date of Birth and your Aadhaar card number. The name and date of birth should be as it is exactly printed on your Aadhaar card. These details should match with your PAN details. If the information matches, the linking will be successful and you will receive a confirmation message on the screen.

Users have to note that the details on the Aadhaar card should be an exact match with the ones on the PAN card. The numbers will not be linked if there are differences in the details on these two cards.

Users who do not have a registered account on the portal need not fret. They can simply use an option available on the homepage to link their Aadhaar with their PAN. On the homepage of the official income tax portal home, you will see an option that says ‘Link Aadhaar’. Click on that.

When you click on this link, you will be taken to the below page

Link Aadhaar
Link Aadhaar
For Non-registered users of the Income Tax e-Filing portal
For Non-registered users of the Income Tax e-Filing portal

Here, you have to enter your PAN, Aadhaar and your name as it appears on the Aadhaar and the Captcha given. In some cases where the Aadhaar was generated in initial days, it did not contain the complete Date of Birth of the applicant, but only the year of birth. There is an option on this page to mention that too. You can check the box that says, ‘I have only year of birth on my Aadhaar Card’. Once all the details are entered and you hit ‘Link Aadhaar’ the linking will be done and a confirmation message is displayed on the screen.

The Income Tax department offers the convenience of linking your Aadhaar and PAN using SMS facility. Users are required to send an SMS to either 567678 or 56161 in the following format -

UIDPAN SPACE <12 digit Aadhaar> Space <10 digit PAN>

E.g.: UIDPAN 888888888888 ABCDE1234Z

  • The name, date of birth and other particulars from Aadhaar should match the ones with PAN. The system will not accept the linking if there is a discrepancy in these details.
  • The user is advised to update the details on the PAN card to match with the one on Aadhaar card for hassle free linking. Users can update details on their PAN card on this link -
  • An OTP is sent to the mobile number registered with Aadhaar. Make sure that the phone number you gave while registering your Aadhaar is active and available to get the message. You will have to enter the OTP to validate the linking.
  • Linking your Aadhaar with PAN is mandatory to file your ITR returns. Though the system may allow you to submit your IT return form online, the Assessing Officer may not process your returns for lack for Aadhaar linking with PAN.

The Income Tax Department has notified that PAN cards which are not linked with Aadhaar will be termed ‘Inoperative’. Though there is still some clarity needed on what ‘Inoperative’ means, as per the amended provision in Finance Bill 2019, sub-section (2) of section 139AA of the Income Tax Act states that PAN not linked with Aadhaar will be deemed as no longer in use by the government. There is no clear definition of what ‘Inoperative’ means and there is no mention of reactivating such ‘inoperative’ PANs.

What if I don’t have a PAN number?

You will be allotted a new PAN number automatically! As per a notification issued by the CBDT in August 2019, any person who has not been allotted a permanent account number but possesses the Aadhaar number and has furnished it in place of a PAN, shall be deemed to have applied for a PAN and they shall not be required to apply or submit any documents specifically for this purpose. However, as per the notification, you may have to authenticate your Aadhaar number in that case.

In an earlier press release, CBDT Chairman P.C.Mody reiterated that the department would "Suo Motu" allot a fresh PAN to a person who files Income Tax returns with only Aadhaar. This is being carried out as part of a new arrangement to link the two databases. He says, "In cases where Aadhaar is being quoted and PAN is not there, we could possibly think on the terms of allotting a PAN to the person (who is filing income tax return). The law provides that the assessing officer can Suo Motu allot PAN. So, if Aadhaar is being quoted without PAN, I give him the PAN. It becomes linked.”

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