From July 1 onwards, Aadhaar will be mandatory to file income tax returns, tax authorities clarified recently.
A day after the Supreme Court upheld a law making Aadhaar mandatory to apply for PAN and file income tax returns, the tax department issued an “effect of judgement” statement.
It said that everyone with a Permanent Account Number (PAN) as on July 1 and also holding an Aadhaar or Aadhaar enrolment number should provide the number to the tax authorities to enable linking of the two numbers.
The I-T department, however, said that PAN cards of citizens without Aadhaar would not be cancelled.
“Only a partial relief has been given by the SC to those who do not have Aadhaar and who do not wish to obtain Aadhaar for the time being. Their PAN will not be cancelled so that other consequences under the Income Tax Act for failing to quote PAN may not arise,” it said.
The clarification came after a high-level team of the tax department and officials from the law and finance ministries studied the judgement.
The department’s statement said that the SC had upheld the Centre’s decision to make it compulsory for tax payers to link their PAN and Aadhaar numbers.
However, the department conceded the court had ordered a partial stay on the operation of Sub-section 2 of Section 139AA of the IT Act, which says PAN cards of citizens holding Aadhaar numbers and those eligible to obtain Aadhaar numbers would be deemed invalid if they did not submit the numbers for linking.
The apex court has upheld the newly introduced Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, mandating the linking as constitutionally valid, the department said.
The court had also said that the parliament was fully competent to enact Section 139AA, the note said.
The department contended no violation of the earlier SC orders was found in the provision mandating linking of Aadhaar with PAN.
“The Hon’ble Court has also held that Section 139AA of the Act is not discriminatory,” the IT department said.
A Constitution bench is looking at the new provisions to see if they violate the right to privacy and human dignity, as enshrined in Article 21.
On Friday, the bench hearing the Aadhaar and PAN case said, “We are of the opinion that till the aforesaid aspect of Article 21 is decided by the Constitution bench, a partial stay of the aforesaid proviso is necessary.”
That is how PAN will remain valid even if the Aadhaar number is not linked to it.