With the August 31 deadline looming around the corner, the Supreme Court’s order has left taxpayers in confusion.
Mumbai: The Supreme Court’s ruling that individual privacy is a fundamental right has shaken up the premises of the Aadhaar Act, the effect of which can be felt on the Aadhaar-PAN linkage.
In a bid to check tax evasion, the Finance Ministry had mandated the linkage of the 12-digit unique number with PAN to file income tax returns. The deadline for doing so is August 31. With the deadline looming around the corner, the Supreme Court’s order has left taxpayers in confusion.
SC’s landmark judgement on privacy however raised a number of questions regarding the validity of Aadhaar and its linkage with various other entities in our lives like government subsidies and services, including filing I-T returns.
Moreover, this discussion about Aadhaar, privacy and personal data has once again raised questions about the safety of our biometric details. Data breaches have happened in the past as far as Aadhaar is concerned. This has put citizens in a conflict whether they should or should not quote their Aadhaar details for everything from gas to income tax.
However, the CEO of UIDAI Ajay Bhushan Pandey clarified on Thursday that the deadline of August 31 for PAN-Aadhaar linking will remain. “The Supreme Court judgement has not said anything about the Aadhaar Act, so the Aadhaar Act is a valid Act passed by the Parliament (and) is the law of the land", Pandey said.
The Aadhaar Act further specifies that the government may mandate the quoting of the unique number for availing a host of government subsidies and services. According to Pandey, this will continue.
Therefore to enable the smooth processing of tax returns, one must ensure their Aadhaar and Pan are linked by August 31. However, if one wants to wait till the apex body takes a call on the Aadhaar Act, they may face certain tax ramifications.