The Government had again fixed the deadline of 30th June 2017 for Linking PAN Numbers with Aadhar to bring about transparency in financial transactions. The deadline was extended to 31st of August 2017 and as per news pouring in, the UIDAI appears to be in no mood to extend the deadline beyond 31st August 2017. But contrary to my belief the Government has once again extended the deadline up to 31st March 2018 even without any penalty to those who do not take the Government orders seriously. Not linking PAN with Aadhar can have far-reaching consequences. In our opinion non-linking can create many problems, some of which are listed below:
Likely Impact of Non-Linking of PAN with Aadhar:
- IMPACT ON BANKS: In the eventuality of PAN Number getting invalidated or inactivated, the Banking systems may refuse to accept the unlinked PAN numbers thus making it difficult even for the existing Bank customers to make such transactions which can be carried out only if the banking system has verifiable/verified PAN Number. New customers may not be able to open their bank accounts with the Banking systems as their PAN Number may get rejected during PAN verification process. The Government of India has already canceled and deactivated 11.44 lac PAN Cards. As such it is advisable to link the PAN with Aadhar before the deadline expires on 31st August 2017. In case of unlinked PAN Cards, the Cardholders may have to Reapply for Issuance E-PAN through Aadhar Based e-verification process through OTP or Biometrics. OTP facility can be used by only those Aadhar Card Holders who have got inserted their Mobile Number and/or email ID in Aadhar. It is another issue that your existing Mobile Numbers may stop working after February 06, 2018.
- IMPACT ON INDIVIDUALS: Individuals may not be able to open Bank Accounts, avail Bank Loans, Credit Cards, apply for Mutual Funds, Insurance Products and Demat or Trading Accounts, purchase Gold or Property in the absence on un-verifiable PAN Cards. The new E-PANs being issued by the Government have QR Code and the new highly secure PAN Cards can be verified by anyone just by scanning the QR code imprinted on PAN Cards. In our opinion, even the existing PAN Card Holders, who have even linked the PAN with Aadhar must invariably procure the highly secure E-PAN Cards with QR Code so that they do not face any difficulty while availing any of the services or making any transactions as mentioned above. Even in case of property transactions, purchasers may be required to scan the QR Code of the PAN of the sellers so as to enter into valid property transaction.
- IMPACT ON EFILING OF IT-RETURNS: It will be impossible for the individuals to e-file their IT Returns in the absence of PAN Cards not linked to their Aadhars. It is needless to mention that till now there was no penalty for late filing of IT-Returns but w.e.f. 01-04-2018 that is commencing from AY 2018-19, the late filing of IT Returns will attract a penalty of up to Rs.10000-00 and timely filing will be possible only if either you possess E-PAN or you have linked your PAN with Aadhar for which deadline expires on 31st March 2018.
- IMPACT ON CIBIL REPORTS: All the Credit rating agencies in India like CIBIL (Transunion), Equifax, Experian and High Rank will have to fine-tune their systems to generate correct Credit Reports in the absence of unlinked PAN Cards. While the Banks and Credit agencies relied upon PAN Cards so far for reporting and compilation of credit data of the borrowers, the inactivation process of unlinked PAN Cards may result in wrong and faulty generation of CIBIL Reports as Aadhar data, being less than 10 years old, is not fed into the banking credit systems and other Other ID or Address Proofs are not Reliable at all. The public is likely to face exaggerated CIBIL related Problems for which they might be forced to opt for professional services of experienced CIBIL Consultants.