The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has deactivated 11.5 crore PAN cards for not being linked to Aadhaar cards. This is based on a Right to Information (RTI) reply filed by Madhya Pradesh-based activist Chandra Shekhar Gaur.
Under the Income Tax Act, it is mandatory for all PAN card holders who were allotted PAN on or before July 1, 2017, to link their PAN with Aadhaar. The deadline for linking PAN with Aadhaar was June 30, 2023.
For new PAN card applicants, the Aadhaar-PAN linking is done automatically during the application stage. However, existing PAN holders had to manually link their PAN with Aadhaar by the deadline.
If a PAN card holder fails to link PAN with Aadhaar on or before the notified date, their PAN card becomes inoperative. To get the PAN card reactivated, the holder will have to pay a penalty of ₹1,000.
Mr. Gaur has questioned the rationale behind imposing a ₹1,000 penalty for reactivating a PAN card, when the cost of getting a new PAN card made is only ₹91 (excluding GST). He has also asked the government to reconsider and extend the deadline for linking PAN with Aadhaar by at least a year.
In a circular dated March 30, 2022, the CBDT had extended the deadline for linking PAN with Aadhaar to June 2023. It had also provided the implications of not linking PAN and Aadhaar on or before the notified date.