Do NRIs need to link their PAN with Aadhaar?
According to government's notification, it is mandatory to link PAN and Aadhaar latest by September 30, 2019, or your PAN might become invalid. But does the rule apply to NRIs too? The short answer is that since Aadhaar is applicable to residents of India only, NRIs do not need to apply for it, and therefore linking of the two documents is ruled out.
In what case can NRIs get Aadhaar card?
According to Aadhaar Act, an individual who has stayed in India for 182 days or more in a year, preceding the date of application of Aadhaar, qualifies as a resident. So, in case an NRI has stayed in India for the said period, they are eligible to get Aadhaar. And, if an NRI chooses to get Aadhaar, they might link it with PAN.
All eligible residents must link their PAN with Aadhaar
Meanwhile, all eligible residents must link their PAN with Aadhaar latest by September 30, 2019, to prevent their PAN from becoming invalidated. This is so because the government believes that even after so many extensions, if your PAN is not yet linked with Aadhaar, its authenticity is questionable. Simply put, the government is skeptic that your PAN might be fake.
Here's how the eligible residents can link PAN with Aadhaar
To link Aadhaar with PAN online, log on to the Income Tax e-portal. Next, under the 'Quick Links' section, click on 'Link Aadhaar.' Enter details such as Aadhaar number, PAN, name, and Captcha code. Submit the details, click on 'Link Aadhaar', and you're done. After successful verification from UIDAI, the linkage will be confirmed. You can also link your PAN with Aadhaar via SMS.
You can also link your PAN with Aadhaar via SMS
Apart from the online method, users can also link their PAN with Aadhaar using SMS service. To do so, type a text message in this format: UIDPAN (space) 12-digit Aadhaar number (space) 10-digit PAN, and send to 567678 or 56161 from your Aadhaar-registered mobile number.
Separately, PAN and Aadhaar can now be used interchangeably
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her budget speech, announced that PAN and Aadhaar can now be used interchangeably. This implies that taxpayers are free to quote their Aadhaar number (instead of PAN), in order to file their I-T returns. Further, Aadhaar can also be used for other services where quoting of PAN is necessary, such as buying/selling financial instruments like MF, gold, etc.
PAN to be generated automatically for filing ITR with Aadhaar
Furthermore, the Income-Tax department will now issue a Permanent Account Number (PAN) to taxpayers using their Aadhaar number to file Income Tax returns, as a new method to link the two databases. According to a notification from Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), dated August 30, such users "shall be deemed" to have applied for PAN allotment, and no further documents will be needed.
The said rule came into effect from September 1
The said rule has come into effect from September 1. "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," CBDT chairman PC Mody had told PTI.
SC verdict: Clearing the air around Aadhaar status
Post the September 26, 2018 Supreme Court verdict relating to authentication of Aadhaar, there has been much confusion with respect to services where Aadhaar is mandatory and where not. Aadhaar is no longer mandatory for services such as opening bank accounts, telecom services, and school admissions/entrance tests. However, it is still necessary for availing government welfare-schemes and filing I-T returns (if PAN isn't used).