You may be fined Rs. 10,000 for entering wrong Aadhaar
Banks and other institutions will soon make upgrades to allow people to quote India’s national biometric ID (Aadhaar) for high-value transactions in place of the permanent account number (PAN).
However, there is a downside to that as, apparently, each time you happen to misquote your Aadhaar number, you may have to pay Rs. 10,000 as fine.
Here are more details.
Penal provision to come into effect from September 1
According to Hindustan Times, from September 1, 2019, failing to quote your unique identification number accurately while using Aadhaar to make high-value transactions (more than Rs. 50,000) will attract a Rs. 10,000 fine for each violation, government officials said.
The proposed penalty will come into effect once relevant laws are amended and a notification of the same is issued, the HTreport added.
Before passing penalty, person shall be heard: Official
Requesting anonymity, a government official said, “It is also proposed that before passing a penalty order, a person shall be heard.” The official added that a similar fine will be imposed on the person supposed to authenticate the identification number.
Existing penalty for PAN ‘vague’ and ‘discretionary’
To note, under Section 272B of the Income Tax Act, an individual can be fined Rs. 10,000 for having more than one PAN, prohibited under Section 139A of Income Tax Act, 1961.
“No person who has already been allotted a PAN under the new series shall apply, obtain or possess another permanent account number.”
However, experts say that the law is vague and discretionary.
Proposed amendment to make laws stricter; extend to Aadhaar
Further, officials said that the government has proposed to make the clause unambiguous and stringent, to ensure that every such violation is penalized with a Rs. 10,000 fine. The amendment will also extend the penal provisions to Aadhaar.
Finance Minister allowed for PAN-Aadhaar interchangeability in Budget speech
Meanwhile, another official, also choosing to remain anonymous, told HT that the amendment will be in line with the 2019 Budget announcement which allowed interchangeability of PAN and Aadhaar.
In her 2019-20 budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that 1.2 billion Indians possess Aadhaar while only 220 million have PAN, and announced that Income Tax returns could be filed by quoting Aadhaar.
‘Those without PAN to file I-T returns by quoting Aadhaar’
Sitharaman had said, “For ease and convenience of taxpayers, I propose to make PAN and Aadhaar interchangeable and allow those who don’t have PAN to file Income Tax returns by simply quoting their Aadhaar number and also use it wherever they’re required to quote PAN.”
Suo motu PAN allotment for those filing ITRs with Aadhaar
Notably, last week, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairman Pramod Chandra Mody had said that the tax department will suo motu allot a fresh PAN to individuals who file I-T returns with only Aadhaar as part of a new arrangement to link the two databases.
“If Aadhaar is being quoted without PAN, I give him the PAN. It becomes linked,” Mody had said.
Places where you can quote the Aadhaar instead of PAN
The Aadhaar can also be used for opening bank accounts, applying for credit/debit cards, opening a demat account, paying restaurant/hotel bills exceeding Rs. 50,000, and selling or purchasing goods or services exceeding Rs. 2 lakh per transaction.