For everyday life in India, Aadhar has replaced the voter card for photo ID verification, be it for buying a new sim card or getting a railway pass. But its status as a mandatory document has been questioned in court, and currently it is compulsary only for PAN Cards, filing income tax returns and benefiting from welfare schemes. Now the income tax department has made it clear that permanent account number (PAN) cards, will not work after March 2023.
Who is it mandatory for?
The Central Board for Direct Taxes announced in a tweet that March 31, 2023, is the last date to link PAN cards with Aadhar, for everyone except those who are exempted. Apart from NRIs, linking the two documents isn’t mandatory for those living in Assam, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir. After the due date, the PAN and Aadhar can be linked till June 30, 2023, but for that citizens will have to pay Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 as penalty.
How can you get it done?
People can visit dedicated service centres for linking PAN and Aadhar near their locality, or send an SMS with the code UIDPAN<Aadhar number><Pan number>, to 567678. For the online process, logging in to the IT department’s e-filing portal and clicking on Link Aadhar to PAN on the dashboard is followed by a seamless experience.
What is Aadhar really needed for
Earlier the Supreme Court of India had also ruled that Aadhar and SIM don’t need to be linked, although it has become a common practice. Late last year, the UIDAI asked for an exemption from the government’s Personal Data Protection Law. The Supreme Court has also upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhar, by saying that it allows people from disenfranchised backgrounds to access subsidies and other benefits.
Over the years more clarity has also been issued on importance of Aadhar for school admissions, bank accounts and digital wallets, as these can be processed without the unique ID card.