Linking Aadhaar to PAN is not necessary for filing AY 2017-18 Income Tax Returns

Published: March 28, 2017 at 9:58 am

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Finance Bill 2017 was passed in the Lok Sabha on 22nd March 2017. Several amendments were introduced just before it was passed. Some of the key amendments involve the Aadhar card. In this post, I discuss why linking Aadhaar to PAN is not necessary for filing AY 2017-18 Income Tax Returns.

The amendments: (1) After 1st July 2017, all income tax returns and all PAN applications will require the Aadhar card number to be mentioned. (2) The govt will soon require PAN cards to be linked to Aadhaar card, failing which PAN cards will be invalidated.

It is important to recognise that no details are available about the last date to link Aadhaar with Pan. The government is yet to announce the authority, form and manner and date before which linkage should be accomplished (page 28 of the finance bill).  This means that all we need to do right away is to

1: mention the Aadhaar number (apply for one if we don’t have one yet) or the enrollment number (if Aadhar not yet issued) in the ITR. There should not be any problem in processing the ITR for AY 2017-18 or FY 2016-17.

2:  Take steps to link Aadhaar with PAN.  If we do not link them, then we may not be able to file the next ITR (ie a year from now) – AY 2018-19 or FY 2017-18.

On the face of it, the linkage is easy.  If the name of the assessee as per income tax records matches the name on the Aadhaar card, the linkage can be instantly done via the e-filing website. If there is a mismatch, then Aadhar details can be updated online in a day or so if your mobile is linked to Aadhaar. After that one can link the two. Theoretically sounds perfect. However, there are some problems.

How to link Aadhaar to Pan

Step 0: Check Assessee name as mentioned in the e-filing website (not Pan card). If this name is “correct”, then proceed to steps A1,A2 and A3.

If the assessee name is listed incorrectly, the proceed to step B1, B2.

Step A1: If the assessee name is the same as on Aadhaar then linking is can be done easily via the e-filing website. The name on the Pan card is irrelevant!

Step A2: If the assessee name matches the name on the Pan Card but not Aadhaar, then the Pan card can be used to change the name on Aadhaar if your mobile is registered at UIDAI. Once the Aadhar name is modified, you can link with Pan via the e-filing website.

Step A3: if the assessee name does not match the name on the Pan card, then the Aadhar card can be modified online with on of the following ID proofs. After this the linking is easy.

PAN Card (not relevant in this case)
Ration/ PDS Photo Card
Voter ID
Driving License
Government Photo ID Cards/ service photo identity card issued by PSU
NREGS Job Card
Photo ID issued by Recognized Educational Institution
Arms License
Photo Bank ATM Card
Photo Credit Card
Pensioner Photo Card
Freedom Fighter Photo Card
Kissan Photo Passbook
CGHS / ECHS Photo Card
Address Card having Name and Photo issued by Department of Posts
Certificate of Identify having photo issued by Gazetted Officer or Tehsildar on letterhead
Disability ID Card/handicapped medical certificate issued by the respective State/UT
Affidavit executed on non-judicial stamp paper to be submitted by a woman applicant for name change after marriage (Joint Affidavit to be submitted along with her husband with joint photo)
Marriage Certificate
Proof of Marriage document issued by the Registrar
Gazette Notification
Legal Name Change Certificate
(For above documents, where original document does not have photo, the photocopy/scan of the documents must be taken along with the Resident’s photo)

Step B1: If the assessee name is incorrect, but the Aadhaar name is correct, the one can follow the instructions on this page to update PAN details.

Other ID documents can also be used instead of Aadhaar. Notice that they do not want initials to be used.

Make sure the assessee name and the name on the  Pan card are the same!!

Step B2: After the assessee name is changed and is the same on Aadhar, one can link the two.

There are serious problems with the way NSDL wants names to be entered. In the above example, Kandaswamy is the given name and not the surname!  Madurai and Somasundrm represent the city and fathers name.

I think the government should allow linking Aadhaar with Pan if the associated mobile’s number is the same. After all, I have to authenticate via the mobile to change Aadhar details. Why can’t I link Pan to Aadhar via the same device? If this is allowed (and I hope that it would be), the problems of many would be solved.

For people who have a family name or surname, this is no problem at all. For example, Ashal Jauhari. Ashal is the given name or the name of the person and Jauhari is the family name.

For people who use initials, there is a big problem.

Pattabiraman is my given name. We do not have a family name. My father’s name is Murari and hence I am known as M. Pattabiraman.

My passport says my given name is Pattabiraman and my family name is Murari. Well, the second bit is not correct, but that is how it is.

My pan card says, M. Pattabiraman. I recently realised this is actually a short form of Murari Pattabiraman!

When I got my Aadhaar, they forgot the initial and said my name is Pattabiraman. Okay, no big deal.  I went UIDAI, uploaded a photo of self-attested PAN card photocopy and it was changed in a day or so to M. Pattabiraman. They accepted a B/W photo even though the site says a colour scan is necessary. Great! Mera Desh Badal Raha Hai.  My Aadhar photo looks like I am stoned (I was with prescription drugs) – no biggie. We will let that slide.

Delighted, I went to the e-filing site to link Aadhar with Pan. The system said, there is a details mismatch.  Then I realised that even though my Pan says M. Pattabiraman (which is why they agreed to update Aadhaar), the website says the assessee name corresponding to my Pan number is Murari Pattabiraman!  I have been filing returns under M. Pattabiraman for 11 years!

For me, there is an extra complication. I was named after my grandfather.

For me: given name –> Pattabiraman. Initials –> M or Murari

For my dad: given name —> Murari. Initials —> P or Pattabiraman!

So if change my Pan card to read Murari Pattabiraman, the second line would read (my fathers name): Pattabiraman Murari! oh dear!


source: meme generator. From “Finding Nemo”.

Now this what I would like to do: update my Pan Card to set my display name as Murari Pattabiraman. Then I need to use that to update my Aadhaar from M. Pattabiraman –> Murari Pattabiraman. After this, I can link Aadhar with Pan.

I hope the process is made easy when the actual announcement is made!

Update May 2nd, 2017: Now you can link Aadhaar to Pan via the e-filing site simply by using your registered mobile. Does not matter if the names are different! Thanks to Basu( for pointing this out at Asan Ideas For Wealth.

I linked my Aadhaar and Pan cards in 30 seconds!


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