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Linking Aadhaar with PAN for IT returns is mandatory: CBDT

Ending all speculations on linking PAN (Permanent Account Number) with Aaadhaar for IT returns, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said that it’s mandatory to link the PAN with Aaadhar while filing the Income Tax Returns and this has to be done before 31st March this year.

“Constitutional validity of Aadhaar has been upheld by the Supreme Court of India in September, 2018. Consequently, in terms of Section 139AA of Income Tax Act, 1961 and order dated June 30, 2018 of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, Aadhaar-PAN linking is mandatory now which has to be completed till March 31, 2019 by PAN holders requiring filing of ITR,” the CBDT said in an advisory Thursday.

A bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer said Supreme Court has already decided the matter and upheld the section 139AA of the Income Tax Act.

The verdict came after hearing the government’s plea against a Delhi High Court order allowing the respondent, Shreya Sen, to file income tax returns for 2018-’19 without linking her Aadhaar and PAN numbers.

The court in its judgment said that the High Court’s verdict was based on the consideration that the decision on making Aadhaar-PAN linkage compulsory for filing returns was pending in the Supreme Court. “Thereafter, this court has decided the matter and upheld Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act,” the bench said. “In view thereof, linkage of PAN with Aadhaar is necessary.”

The court said that the respondent had filed her income tax returns for 2018-’19 based on the orders of the High Court, but will have to link her Aadhaar and PAN card to file them for the 2019-’20 financial year.

“We, therefore, make it clear that for the assessment year 2019-20, the income tax return shall be filed in terms of the judgment passed by this court. The special leave petition is disposed of in the above terms,” the bench said in an order on Monday.

The petitioners informed the High Court that “despite orders, and multiple attempts they have not been able to file their ITR, since there is no available option to opt-out of providing an Aadhaar or Aadhaar Enrolment number during e-filing, on the website”.

In September last year, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar scheme. In a 4-1 judgment, a Constitutional bench of the court said that the Aadhaar Act did not violate the right to privacy. It also upheld the passage of the Aadhaar Bill as a money bill in the Lok Sabha.

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