Govt widening scope of Aadhaar

Nirmala Sitharaman said Aadhaar card for NRIs with Indian passports will be issued after their arrival in India, without waiting for the mandatory 180 days.

Expanding the scope of Aadhaar, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced that PAN and Aadhaar have been made interchangeable to allow those who do not have PAN to file Income Tax returns.

She also said Aadhaar card for NRIs with Indian passports will be issued after their arrival in India, without waiting for the mandatory 180 days.

"For ease and convenience of taxpayers, I propose to make PAN and Aadhaar interchangeable and allow those who do not have PAN to file Income Tax returns by simply quoting their Aadhaar number and also use it wherever they are required to quote PAN," Sitharaman said in her maiden budget speech.

"It is proposed to provide interchangeability of PAN and Aadhaar to enable a person who does not have PAN but has Aadhaar to use Aadhaar in place of PAN under the Act," she said.

Sitharaman said the Income Tax Department shall allot PAN to such person on the basis of Aadhaar after obtaining demographic data from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

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It is also proposed to provide that a person who has already linked his Aadhaar with his PAN may at his option use Aadhaar in place of PAN under the Act.

At present, the PAN number is mandatory for filing IT returns.

According to amendments in the Income Tax Act, which are recorded in the Finance Bill, every person who is required to furnish or intimate or quote his Permanent Account Number under this Act and who has not been allotted PAN but possesses the Aadhaar number, could quote his Aadhaar number in lieu of the PAN. Such person shall be allotted a Permanent Account Number in such manner as may be prescribed.

Every person who has been allotted a PAN and who has linked it with Aadhaar could quote his Aadhaar number in lieu of PAN, it added.

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