The Income Tax Department has said that PAN holders may face penal action under the Income Tax Act if they fail to link it with Aadhar before the deadline. In a fresh notification, the tax department said that the PAN cards will become inoperative and they could face a fine of up to Rs 10,000 in case of failure to link it with Aadhar cards.
The possible fine is not directly linked with Aadhar but an individual could be fined up to Rs 10,000 for using an invalid/inoperative PAN card. "If a person fails to comply with the provisions of section 139A, the Assessing Officer may direct that such person shall pay, by way of penalty, a sum of ten thousand rupees," according to Section - 272B, Income Tax Act, 1961.
In a notification dated February 13, the Central Board of Direct Taxes said that any person who has been allotted the permanent account number as on the first day of July 2017 is required to link the PAN with Aadhar on or before March 31, 2020. The person will be required to furnish, intimate or quote PAN number in accordance with the provisions of the Act to make it operative.
An individual who fails to link the PAN card with Aadhar can use the former as an identification proof for non-tax purposes like opening a bank account. However, if the person makes any financial transaction quoting the inoperative PAN, a fine of up to Rs 10,000 could be levied.
In 2018, the Supreme Court made an important decision on the constitutional validity of the Aadhar card and held that biometric ID would remain mandatory for filing income tax returns and allotment of PAN card. PAN and Aadhar can be linked through SMS as well the Income Tax website.