New Delhi: Filing an income tax return or planning on applying for a permanent account number (PAN) card? You may soon need an Aadhaar card.
According to media reports, the Centre plans on making the Aadhaar authentication system mandatory for both processes by introducing a rule through an amendment to this year’s Finance Bill. The Hindustan Times reports that if the amendment passes, mandatory Aadhaar for tax filings and PAN card applications could come into effect from July 1.
The decision to make Aadhaar mandatory is reflective of the Modi government’s decision to make the biometric authentication system a core aspect of its governance agenda. Since January 1, 2017, the Centre has issued over 20 notifications that make Aadhaar mandatory for various government schemes.
“Aadhaar has been optional for ITR for the past few years. The challenge will be for foreign nationals who pay taxes in India. We will have to see the amendment to understand its implications,” said Kuldip Kumar, leader, personal tax at PwC India, was quoted as saying.
At the moment, however, it isn’t clear what purpose it would serve to link the Aadhaar authentication system to income tax filings. The government, according to people with knowledge of the matter, is already is working on a plan to link all Aadhaar number holders to their respective bank accounts.
The income tax department’s PAN card currently acts as a unique identifier for a person who files taxes.