NEW DELHI : For the convenience of taxpayers, the income tax department has now allowed Aadhaar card holders to use the 12-digit biometric id number in lieu of the Permanent Account Number (PAN). But be careful while quoting your Aadhaar as giving an incorrect number might make you pay a hefty fine of ₹10,000.
The latest amendments to the Income Tax Act 1961, as presented in the Finance Bill 2019, not only allowed people to use Aadhaar in lieu of PAN but also introduced a penalty for giving a false Aadhaar number.
The new penalty rules are, however, applicable only in cases where you are using Aadhaar in lieu of PAN and where quoting PAN is mandatory according to the income tax department rules. Such examples include, filing of income tax returns (ITR), opening of bank account, demat account and buying mutual funds, bonds, etc worth more than 50,000.
The new Aadhaar rule:
Although Aadhaar is issued by the Unique Identity Authority of India, yet the fine is not imposed by UIDAI but by the income tax department.
Under Section 272B of the Income Tax Act, 1961, the department can impose a penalty in case of default in complying with provisions relating to PAN, i.e., failure to obtain, quote, or authenticate PAN. The amount of penalty shall be ₹10,000 for each default.
Earlier the fine was limited to PAN but ever since the PAN-Aadhaar interchangeability came into force from last September, the penalty has been extended to Aadhaar too.
You are fined if:
a) You give invalid Aadhaar number in lieu of PAN.
b) You fail to provide either your PAN or Aadhaar in specified transactions.
c) Simply giving your Aadhaar number might not be enough as if you are required to authenticate your biometric identity then any failure to do so will also lead to a fine.
Under the rules, even banks, financial institutions, etc can be fined if they fail to ensure that the PAN or Aadhaar are duly quoted and authenticated.
Also note that the rule provides for ₹10,000 fine in each such case which means that if you have given a wrong Aadhaar number in 2 forms then you can be fined ₹20,000. So better be careful while filling out forms.