Individuals struggling to link their Permanent Account Number with Aadhaar because of differently spelt names can now simply upload a scanned copy of PAN to get the work done.
Besides, the tax department is planning to introduce an option on the e-filing portal through which taxpayers can choose to link the Aadhaar without changing the name by opting for a One-Time Password (OTP), provided that the year of birth of the person matches in both documents.
With the linking of PAN with Aadhaar being made mandatory, individuals can log on to e-filing website of the income tax department or NSDL but the seeding cannot happen if the name is differently spelt in the two cards - like use of full name in PAN and initials in Aadhaar.
In such cases, government has allowed a simple uploading of a scanned copy of PAN on the Aadhaar website.
The tax department will start educating taxpayers from this week through media outreach on ways to link the PAN with Aadhaar, an official told PTI.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had through amendment to tax proposals in the Finance Bill of the Budget for 2017-18, had made Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns and provided for linking of PAN with Aadhaar to curb tax evasion through use of multiple PAN cards.
The e-filing portal has already activated a functionality of linking PAN with Aadhaar. Over 1.08 crore assessees have already Aadhaar-linked PAN but the number is abysmally low as there are over 25 crore PAN card holders in the country, while Aadhaar has been issued to 111 crore people.
As per statistics with the tax department, only 6 crore people file income tax returns at present.
The official said that linking of PAN with Aadhaar should not be cumbersome for people whose registered mobile number with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is active.
"In case the taxpayer is unable to link PAN with Aadhaar because of discrepancy in name, we are advising them to log in to the Aadhaar website, request for a name change and upload a scanned copy of PAN card as supported proof. This is the simplest way to update name in Aadhaar and only the registered mobile number has to be functional," the official said.
This option will hold good for people who have given short forms of their name or in some cases there are some spelling errors in the name provided in Aadhaar card.
However, in certain cases, there are people who have got married and changed their surname and updated the same while getting Aadhaar number, but it does not get reflected in PAN documents.
In such and other name change cases, the tax department is planning to give the OTP option wherein the password would be sent to the Aadhaar-registered mobile number and the tax department, on its part, would match the year of birth of the taxpayer with the Aadhaar database.
"We are also contemplating that when taxpayers with name discrepancy logs into the e-filing website for linkage, we will send OTP to the Aadhaar registered mobile number. The taxpayer can link PAN using the OTP. While generating the OTP, we will just check if the year of birth of the taxpayer in PAN card matches with the year given in the Aadhaar document," the official added.