From July 1, 2017, all tax returns will have to mention thenumber, according to the newly-introduced Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act. If you have both PAN and Aadhaar, you need to link the two. If you fail to do so, your PAN number could become invalid. Many people are, however, facing difficulties in linking these two databases.
When you try to link Aadhaar with PAN, three things need to match: name, year of birth and gender. If any of these details don’t match, the linking fails. Many people are having problems because their names are different in the two databases. Some have used initials in their names in the PAN card. “The Aadhaar database does not allow initials. It accepts only full names. During the linking process, the names in the two databases need to match alphabet by alphabet. If there is a difference of even a single alphabet, the linking fails. People from South India in particular are facing a lot of problems because of the use of initials in PAN,” says Chetan Chandak, head-tax research, H&R Block. People who have abbreviated their middle name in PAN (for instance, Kumar shortened to K) while using the full form in Aadhaar are also encountering problems.
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The third category facing difficulties is people with special characters in their names. For instance, a surname like D’Souza has an apostrophe. While the PAN database accepts special characters, the Aadhaar database doesn’t, causing a mismatch.
Women who have changed their surnames after marriage are also having difficulty. They may have got their Aadhaar before marriage and PAN after marriage, or vice versa. As the two documents have different names, they are unable to link them.
Finally, people who have gone abroad to work and don’t yet have an Aadhaar card will also face a problem in filing their tax return this year. “You have to get your biometrics registered to obtain an Aadhaar card and that is possible only in India,” says Naveen Wadhwa, deputy general manager, Taxmann.
Once you have got your Aadhaar or PAN updated to make the two documents match, a further complication arises. These details will have to be updated in several accounts: bank, mutual funds, insurance, demat, etc. “If the information provided in different accounts does not match, it will create problems for you. It is advisable to have one identity for all purposes,” says Wadhwa.