It is now mandatory to link your income tax returns to your Aadhaar number. Read more to find out why you need to do so and the exact steps to follow.
Income tax return (ITR) forms include many details that must be filled in diligently. More often than not, when people file their ITR, they make a few mistakes that might lead to the disqualification of their applications. Disqualification and subsequent penalties can also happen if people forget the deadline for filing their ITR. It is crucial to provide your Aadhaar number in the enrollment ID column to avoid such situations. Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act came into force in 2017, and it requires every individual to link their PAN card with their Aadhaar number. Thus, a taxpayer must ensure two things before filing the ITR – a) link their Aadhaar number with a PAN card and b) provide Aadhaar details in the enrollment ID column.
This move will increase transparency in the ITR filing regulation and ensure that everyone complies with the rules diligently. Additionally, when applying for PAN, you will be required to provide your 12-digit Aadhaar number.
Providing your Aadhaar number will help the authorities verify your biometrics before issuing the PAN card. The rules laid down under section 139AA of the Income Tax Act help the government keep an eye on unauthorised transactions that may take place as a means of tax evasion. In this article, we will provide details on linking your Aadhaar to your income tax return.
Process of Linking Aadhaar to Income Tax Return
Follow the steps below to link your Aadhaar to income tax returns.
- Go to the official income tax website. Here, you will find a portal for filing ITR online. Click to enter
- On the left-hand side, you will see a quick link section. Click on ‘Link Aadhaar’
- Once you reach the ‘Link Aadhaar’ page, you will find several fields that you need to fill up diligently. These fields include your name, PAN card details, Aadhaar number, and a captcha code
- If your Aadhaar card shows only the birth year, click on the checkbox at the bottom right corner of the page, saying, ‘I only have birth year on the Aadhaar card’
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the ‘Link Aadhaar’ button to complete the linking process.
Status of Aadhaar Link Request
In certain cases, the request to link your Aadhaar with your ITR returns may be declined due to inadequate information. Therefore, it is crucial to keep an eye out for the status of link requests. Here are some easy steps that you can follow to do so:
- On the official income tax website, find the ‘Quick Links’ section to the left
- Click on ‘Link Aadhaar Status’
- Fill in your PAN and your Aadhaar number in the respective spaces
- Navigate to the bottom of the page and click on ‘View Link Aadhaar Status’, and you will get access to your Aadhaar link status immediately.
Benefits of Linking Aadhaar with PAN
Let us look at two of the most crucial benefits of linking your Aadhaar with your PAN.
1. Prevents Tax Evasion: An individual’s Aadhaar card entails their biometric details. These details are unique to every cardholder. Therefore, every individual has a unique Aadhaar number, which allows the government to keep track of every financial transaction in PAN-linked bank accounts. Hence, every taxable movement will immediately come under the radar of the government authorities. Today, the Indian government has a record of every financial transaction and the tax that is liable to be levied on each of them. Therefore, it is almost impossible for an individual to evade taxes. Lower tax evasion rates mean better financial resources at the government’s disposal. This, in turn, allows for better implementation of welfare schemes.
2. No More Multiple PAN Cards: The Indian government introduced PAN cards way back in 1972. The Aadhaar card came into existence in 2010. Earlier, the issuance of PAN cards did not require biometric data, so forgery was a common occurrence. People would often open multiple bank accounts and link every bank account to a different PAN card. Additionally, they would deposit less than taxable amounts in separate bank accounts, leading to tax evasion. By linking Aadhaar with a PAN number, the government can ensure that individuals have one Aadhaar and one PAN. A person has to use the same for all their accounts. This allows the government to keep an eye on every unauthorised transaction.
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The Direct Impact of Aadhaar on eFiling Income Tax
Technology has made waves in our lives, and its impact can be seen in various sectors. Several government departments rely on digital media for official work. Moreover, the advancement of the internet has enhanced accessibility, which has improved convenience for everyone. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane to put things into perspective.
When the internet was still a new phenomenon, taxpayers had to keep track of ITR filing dates via newspapers. Additionally, the filing process was no cakewalk. One had to mail a copy of their PAN card and other necessary documents like investment proof and Form 16 to the Income Tax office.
Taxpayers had to keep a thorough record of their documents and manage them accordingly. Moreover, there was no way to keep track of the filing process. Taxpayers who mailed their documents close to the due date had no way of confirming if the department had received their submissions.
Today, efiling income tax returns and linking Aadhaar to ITR have made things easier than ever. All you have to do is log in to the portal and upload all the required documents. For generic records, you can keep the scanned copy in your system to save time. These facilities have relieved us from the complex task of physical filing and paperwork.
Also, now you can keep track of your application process online, which is especially helpful in cases where the department reports discrepancies and sends the application back for refiling. Aadhaar linking ensures that you get regular updates on your registered mobile number to avoid missing the due date for filing ITR online.
Linking PAN with Aadhaar will ensure seamless ITR filing. Additionally, you will also receive the status of efiling on your linked mobile number. You can easily keep track of discrepancies in the application if any. Follow the steps listed above to link the PAN with Aadhaar. Subsequently, visit the efiling portal and link your ITR with Aadhaar too.