-Aadhaar linking: Do it before March 31 or else pay Rs 10,000 fine

Permanent Account Number (PAN) cardholders who fail to link it with their Aadhaar card will have to furnish a huge penalty after the deadline ends on March 31. A penalty of Rs 10,000 will be levied on those failing to comply with the March 31 deadline, the Income Tax Department said. 
The penalty falls under Section 272B of the Income Tax Act, which states “If a person fails to comply with the provisions of section 139A, the Assessing Officer may direct that such person shall pay, by way of penalty, a sum of ten thousand rupees.” 
The Income Tax Department had said that PAN will become inoperative if not linked with Aadhaar by March 31. However, it will again become operative once the individual links it with the Aadhaar card. 
As per the latest figures, over 307.5 million PANs have already been linked to Aadhaar, while 175.8 million PANs are yet to be linked with the 12-digit biometric ID.
The Supreme Court had in September 2018 declared Aadhaar as constitutionally valid and held that the biometric ID would remain mandatory for the filing of income tax returns and allotment of PAN cards. “Where a person, who has been allotted the permanent account number as on July 1, 2017 and is required to intimate his Aadhaar number under sub-section (2) of section 139AA, has failed to intimate the same on or before March 31, 2020, the permanent account number of such person shall become inoperative immediately after the said date for the purposes of furnishing, intimating or quoting under the Act,” the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said.
Meanwhile, the government had said that it will roll out a facility to issue online PAN cards instantly on furnishing of Aadhaar details. The Budget 2020-21 had proposed to launch a system under which Permanent Account Number shall be instantly allotted online on the basis of Aadhaar without filling up the detailed application form as it sought to further ease the process of allotment of PAN.

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