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'Aadhaar not a must to file I-T returns'

Bosky Khanna, DH News Service, Bengaluru, Jul 25 2017, 1:35 IST
The CBDT will soon issue a circular to clear the air around the Aadhaar for Income Tax issue. Representative image.

The CBDT will soon issue a circular to clear the air around the Aadhaar for Income Tax issue. Representative image.

No Aadhaar and worried you can’t file your income tax returns? Don’t be.

“We cannot force anyone. We have told people to share Aadhaar numbers for linking with PAN. But if a person does not have Aadhaar, it is not a problem,” Rajnish Kumar, principal chief commissioner, income tax department, said.

On July 9, the Supreme Court said citizens without Aadhaar should be allowed to file returns, and officials must abide by the directive, he said.

Tax offices are witnessing a clamour as July 31 is the last date to file income tax returns.

As things stand, returns can be filed offline without an Aadhaar number, but the online form insists on it. That is set to change, a source in the tax department said.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes will soon hold a meeting and issue a circular to clear the air, he said. A senior official of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) said it wasn’t pressuring anyone to get Aadhaar.

“But we can’t do anything if other government departments, banks or private organisations insist on it,” he said.

The UIDAI and I-T department have joined hands to check the authenticity of PAN cards.

“In many instances, fake details are submitted to get PAN cards. Aadhaar will help the I-T department weed out fake identities,” the official said.

Mobile phone companies and banks are also using Aadhaar to verify customers’ details, but biometric details are not shared with them, he said.

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