The deadline for linking of PAN with Aadhaar expires today i.e. June 30, as per the last press release from the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). While chartered accountants opine that there would be grave consequences for those whose PAN-Aadhaar are not linked by this deadline, they are also of the view that the deadline is very likely to be extended. Purely technically, as per Section 139AA (2) of the Income Tax Act, your PAN may become invalid unless linked to your Aadhaar (except for exempted cases) by this date.
However, no notification/release has been issued on the subject till the time of publishing this article. Further, there is no clarity among the chartered accountants regarding what will happen once this deadline expires if there is no extension.
According to Chetan Chandak, Tax Research, H&R Block India, says “At present there is no clarity on this matter. Unless the date is further extended by the CBDT in this regard those taxpayers who already have an Aadhaar allotted in their name and not yet linked it with their PAN may face grave consequences.”
He further adds, “Taxpayers may not be allowed to file the return post 30th June without linking the PAN and Aadhaar. Also, if they have already filed the return it may not get processed by the tax authorities. But in the backdrop of the supreme court judgement their PAN may not be deactivated/invalidated because they are bound to suffer immensely in their day to day dealings owing to deactivation of PAN.”
On the other hand, Shalini Jain, Tax Partner, People Advisory Services, EY India says, “As per proviso to section 139AA(2), in case of failure to link Aadhaar within the due date, PAN allotted to the person shall be deemed to be invalid. The SC in the case of Binoy Viswam has provided for a partial stay on the operation of this proviso for those who do not have Aadhaar and therefore have not completed the linking process. Basis the existing provisions of the Act and the SC ruling, there is a risk of PAN being considered as invalid in relation to persons who have Aadhaar but have not linked the same to PAN by the due date. The current due date is tomorrow, i.e. 30 June 2018.”
Another, practising chartered accountant who did not wish to be quoted said that, there can be four possible consequences:
1. It may be possible that your PAN becomes invalid from 1st July 2018 and you are not able to login on the website of income tax department.
2. If the deadline for linking the two is not extended – It may be possible that all those whose Aadhaar and PAN are not linked will not be able to file their income tax returns.
3. It is also possible that if the deadline is not extended-you may be able to file return but it may not be processed.
4. If the deadline is extended then you may be able to file returns (without linking of Aadhaar -PAN) and these may be processed also like last year.
However, they all believe that it is very likely that the CBDT will extend the deadline in order to avoid hardship for common taxpayers. CBDT in the past has extended the deadline to link same several times. The initial deadline to link PAN and Aadhaar was 31 August, 2017 which was further extended to December 31, 2017. This deadline was again extended to March 31, 2018. Post Supreme Court judgement of extending deadline ‘indefinitely’ of linking Aadhaar to various services, CBDT pushed the deadline to June 30, 2018.
In its press release dated 10 June, 2017, the CBDT had stated that the Supreme Court, in its judgement, had upheld the validity of Section 139AA(1) and Section 139AA (2) which mandatorily require quoting of Aadhaar for new PAN applications as well as for filing of returns and require that the Aadhaar number must be intimated to the prescribed authority for the purpose of linking with PAN.
As per the press release, “It is only the proviso to Section 139AA(2) where the Supreme Court has granted a partial stay for the time being pending resolution of the other cases before the larger bench of the Supreme Court. ”
The Supreme Court has unequivocally stated as follows:
Those who have already enrolled themselves under Aadhaar scheme would comply with the requirement of sub-section (2) of Section 139AA of the Act. Those who still want to enrol are free to do so. However, those assessees who are not Aadhaar card holders and do not comply with the provision of Section 139(2), their PAN cards be not treated as invalid for the time being. It is only to facilitate other transactions which are mentioned in Rule 114B of the Rules. We are adopting this course of action for more than one reason. We are saying so because of very severe consequences that entail in not adhering to the requirement of sub-section (2) of Section 139AA of the Act. A person who is holder of PAN and if his PAN is invalidated, he is bound to suffer immensely in his day to day dealings, which situation should be avoided till the Constitution Bench authoritatively determines the argument of Article 21 of the Constitution.
CBDT, in its press release dated May 12, 2017 has exempted the following individuals from linking PAN with Aadhaar, if they do not possess the Aadhaar/Enrolment ID. These are as follows:
a) An Individual residing in the state of Assam, Jammu and Kashmir and Meghalaya.
b) An individual who is non-resident as per the Income-tax Act, 1961.
c) An individual of the age of 80 years or more at any time during the previous year
d) An individual who is not citizen of India