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Filing Income Tax returns has been made totally digital for the convenience of crores of taxpayers in India. The official Income Tax e-filing website serves as a single window to all services relating to your income tax. The user interface is very easy to navigate and any person with minimal computer knowledge can expediently file their income tax returns.
The Government has made it mandatory to link your Aadhaar with your Income Tax account on the official e-filing website. It is now necessary to mention your Aadhaar while filing your income tax returns and also while applying for a PAN card. This measure aims at increasing the authenticity of returns filed and also increase the number of returns filed in a financial year. Since Aadhaar is now being mandated for large cash transactions, it also prevents the black money menace.
This also brings to attention the announcement by our current Finance Minister in the Budget of 2019, regarding the interchangeability of PAN & Aadhaar. As per current laws, only Super Senior Citizens (those above the age of 80) are allowed to file their income tax returns by paper. All others are required to file their returns electronically on the e-filing website.
With the PAN & Aadhaar Interchangeability feature, users who do not possess PAN can still file their returns using their Aadhaar. They have to have their Aadhaar linked with their income tax account for their returns to be processed by the Assessing Officer (AO).
About Link Aadhaar Card to Income Tax Return
If you are a registered user on the official e-filing website and have previously mentioned your Aadhaar number in your tax return, then it is likely that your Aadhaar number will already be pre-filled. This information will be pre-filled in 'Part-A General information' of the ITR-1 as available on the website.
For first time users and others who do not have an account, please follow the below steps:
Visit the income tax website at https://www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/home
Step 3: You will be directed to the next page, where you will be filling your PAN number, Aadhaar number & your name as it appears on the Aadhaar card.
Step 4: Once you have entered all the information, click on ‘Link Aadhaar’ to complete the process.
On the home screen of the e-filing website, go to ‘Link Aadhaar’. In the below screen, click on the ‘Click Here’ button that is blinking on the top left of the screen
On the next screen, you have to enter your PAN and Aadhaar and click on ‘View Aadhaar Link Status’
If the linking has been done, you will receive the below confirmation message.
The main objective of linking Aadhaar with Income Tax portal was to weed out the large number of tax evasion cases. Aadhaar is now being considered as a strong document for identity proof and address proof by many entities. The Government has been urging everyone to link their Aadhaar with their Income Tax account for these three basic reasons:
To prevent tax evasion: Aadhaar card is a biometric verified identification, which makes it nearly impossible for anyone to hold two different Aadhaar numbers. Currently, PAN is mandatory for large cash transactions over Rs.50,000. PAN is also necessary to purchase immovable property of over Rs 10 lakh. Now with PAN & Aadhaar interchangeability, Aadhaar can be quoted for cash transactions over Rs.50,000 and is already mandatory for property purchases. So, the government is now able to track individuals and entities' taxable transactions, which means the government will have a record of each and every taxable transaction or activity. When the government has details of all the financial transactions and the taxes that are levied on them, it is not possible for an individual to evade tax.
Weed out fake PAN cards – Recently, the Government was able to cancel around 10 lakh fake PAN cards due to the rule that PAN cards should be linked to Aadhaar. This has saved the Government exchequer close to Rs.50,000 crores. The linking prevents the misuse of duplicate PAN to carry certain cash transactions and evade taxes. Now, the government is able to link the identity of an individual via his or her Aadhaar card, thus having all the details of the financial transactions made through the linked PAN card.
Complete digitalization of the Income Tax returns process: Previously, a person had to file their IT returns manually on paper. After filling the long form, they had post a copy of their Income Tax returns form along with supporting documents to the Income Tax office for processing of their IT returns. Now, the whole process is online with the help of Aadhaar based verification. The person is able to fill all their income tax details on the form online and submit it. Once you submit, you have the option to e-verify your return using Aadhaar. This option will send an OTP to the mobile number registered with your Aadhaar. Entering the OTP and clicking ‘E-verify Returns’ is all the steps necessary to file your income tax returns.
1. Do NRIs have to provide their Aadhaar number to file income tax returns in India?
Only a resident Indian can sign up for an Aadhaar card. NRIs who have resided outside the country for over six months in the last 12 months do not have to quote Aadhaar for their IT returns.
2. Is it mandatory to link Aadhaar number in e-Filing profile at the Income Tax website?
Yes, linking Aadhaar with PAN has been made mandatory for e-filing taxes. In case this is not done, tax returns will not be processed.
3. Can I link Aadhaar with Income Tax through any offline mode?
Currently all income tax returns are accepted only on the e-filing website and you can link your Aadhaar with your account on this portal. Only Super Senior Citizens are still allowed paper returns filing, who can quote their Aadhaar on the physical form.
4. The e-filing site is not accepting my Aadhaar & PAN linking due to a difference in the way my name is printed on both the cards. What should I do?
If there is a difference in the name printed on your Aadhaar and PAN you can update the information on your PAN card online. To apply for correction to your PAN. Once it is updated to match Aadhaar details and you try linking them on the e-filing website, they will go through.
5. What documents are required to link Aadhaar with my PAN & Income Tax account?
The linking does not require any document apart from your Aadhaar number & PAN number. An OTP will be sent to the mobile number registered with your Aadhaar which will verify the details and complete the linking process.
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