You must have already heard that from this year filling of income tax returns will require you to your Aadhaar number. In case you don't have the Aadhaar card and you wish to pay taxes, you have to get one now. But the Aadhaar doesn't just stop at the income tax.

The Aadhaar number will also have to be linked to the PAN (permanent account number) card or else the PAN card will be cancelled.

The new rule is part of the proposed amendments in the new Finance Bill, which is certain to be passed. The proposed rules note that linking of Aadhaar card with PAN card will be mandatory from July 1.

"Every person who has been allotted permanent account number as on the day 1st of July 2017, and who is eligible to obtain Aadhaar number, shall intimate his Aadhaar number to such authority in such form and manner as may be prescribed, on or before a date to be in notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette," notes the amendments inserted in the Finance Bill. "Provided that in case of failure to intimate the Aadhaar number, the permanent account number (PAN) 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."

Interestingly, the government move comes despite of the Supreme Court ruling that Aadhaar number can be used only for providing welfare services and not as in ID tool or a requirement for general services. It is not clear why the government wants to link all PAN cards to the Aadhaar card and what it hopes to achieve by making Aadhaar a mandatory requirement for filing income tax returns. But from the proposed amendments it seems that Aadhaar number will soon render the PAN number useless and in future government may just use Aadhaar number in all the places where currently the PAN card is required.

At the same time, with Aadhaar card connected to the PAN card, and effectively with bank accounts, government will be able to track the income and expenditures of millions of Indians each time there is a transaction that involves a bank account.

From India, Ahmadabad
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