The government on Saturday extended the due date for linking PAN or Permanent Account Number with the Aadhaar number - also known as the Unique Identity Number - by three months. In a notification, the Finance Ministry said the new deadline for linking the Aadhaar number with PAN will be December 31. This marks the seventh time the government has extended the deadline for the public to link the two identification numbers. The last extension was in March this year, when the government had pushed the last date by six months to September 30.
The Supreme Court had in September last year declared the government's flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid and held that quoting of the Unique Identity Number (UID) would remain mandatory for filing of income tax returns and allotment of PAN.
In the first Budget of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's second term, the government allowed interchangeability of Aadhaar with PAN under income tax rules. That means assessees can now file their income tax returns by quoting Aadhaar instead of PAN.
However, in such cases, a PAN will be generated automatically, the Central Board of Direct Taxes - the top policymaking body for the Income Tax Department - said earlier this month. (Also read: Aadhaar, PAN Card Steps To Expand Tax Base, Say Experts)
Issued by the Income Tax Department, PAN is a 10-character alphanumeric identification number that enables the taxman to link the financial transactions with an individual. Aadhaar is a 12-digit identification issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).