Much debate has been going on about whether Aadhaar must be provided in income tax return. Recently, the Supreme Court of India has said that if you have an Aadhaar Card you must mention it while filing your income tax return.
Here is a brief summary of the honorable Supreme Court’s decision :
- Starting 1st July, anyone who has an Aadhaar Card must mention it in their tax return.
- Those who do not have an Aadhaar Card and do not wish to get one, can still file their tax returns without Aadhaar. For such persons, PAN will not be cancelled.
Do note that returns can still be filed until 30th June 2017 without mentioning Aadhaar number.
[Start filing your tax return here.]
Some individuals are exempt from quoting Aadhaar, read about them here.
This decision has come in the wake of an ongoing case in the Supreme Court challenging the linkage of Aadhaar with income tax return. This is based on the premise that such linkage is a threat and invasion of ‘privacy’ of an individual and details of his/her personal income should not be mandatorily linked with Aadhaar.
Another decision is pending in the same court regarding privacy concerns of Aadhaar in general. A constitutional bench has been asked to review Aadhaar law and privacy rights of citizens of India due to its use. Therefore, the Supreme Court has ruled that no PAN can be cancelled due to non-linkage with Aadhaar.
Below is the Section 139AA of the income tax act (as introduced by the government)
Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961
(1) Every person who is eligible to obtain Aadhaar number shall, on or after the 1st day of July, 2017, quote Aadhaar number –
(i) in the application form for allotment of permanent account number
(ii) in the return of income
Provided where the person does not possess the Aadhaar Number, the Enrollment ID of Aadhaar application form issued to him at the time of enrolment shall be quoted in the application for permanent account number or, as the case may be, in the return of income furnished by him.
(2) Every person who has been alloted permanent account number as on 1st day of July 2017, and who is eligible to obtain Aadhaar number, shall intimate, his Aadhaar number to such authority and in such form and manner as may be prescribed, on or before a date to be notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette
Provided that in case of failure to intimate the Aadhaar number, the permanent account number allotted to the person shall be deemed to be invalid and the other provisions of this Act shall apply, as if the person had not applied for allotment of permanent account number.