The Income Tax Department has introduced an ‘instant’ Aadhaar-based PAN allotment service for individuals seeking to file taxes for the first time. The facility is free of cost and instant allotment of e-PAN is available only for a limited period on a first-come-first-serve basis for valid Aadhaar holders. The facility is only for resident individuals and not for Hindu Undivided Family, trusts, firms and companies.

How the e-PAN works

  • The e-PAN will be generated using the details like DOB, gender, mobile number and address as available in Aadhaar. The applicant needs to make sure that these are details updated because the e-KYC will be done using the Aadhaar database.
  • Once the e-KYC is successful, the process will be initiated. The applicant then needs to upload a scanned copy of their signature. After filing the application, a 15-digit acknowledgement number will be generated and sent to your mobile number/ email mentioned in the application form.
  • A fresh PAN will be allotted on the basis of a one-time password (OTP) sent over the “active mobile number” linked with the valid Aadhaar number of a person
  • Once the PAN is allotted to an applicant through his electronic Aadhaar-based verification system in a few seconds, the applicant will be sent the PAN card by post. The process can be done at the official portal of the department.

The Aadhaar-PAN saga

A senior official told PTI the new facility has been introduced in view of an increasing number of people applying to obtain the Permanent Account Number (PAN) for their financial and tax matters.

According to Section 139 AA (2) of the Income Tax Act, every person having PAN as on July 1, 2017, and eligible to obtain Aadhaar, must intimate tax officials of his Aadhaar number. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), which makes policies for the Income Tax Department, on Saturday extended the deadline for the PAN-Aadhaar linking to March 31, 2019. This is the fifth time it has extended the deadline. While Aadhaar is issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to an Indian resident, PAN is a 10-digit alphanumeric number allotted by the Income Tax Department to a person, firm or entity.

Siladitya adds: While the e-PAN comes across as a simpler way of filing taxes one must be aware of the implications of seeking an e-PAN. Regardless of what the Supreme Court decides e-PAN could turn out to be a trojan horse through which the IT Department and the UIDAI can ensure seeding of Aadhaar with personal income details. If you are wary of linking your Aadhaar with your PAN, this is not the solution for you.