11.48 Crore PAN Not Yet Linked with Aadhaar, Govt Collected Rs602 Crore Penalty in 7 Months
Moneylife Digital Team 05 February 2024
Notwithstanding the 30 June 2023 deadline, as many as 114.8mn (million) holders of permanent account numbers (PANs) have not linked their PAN with Aadhaar. During the past seven months till 31 January 2024, the government collected Rs601.97 crore as a penalty from PAN-holders, the Lok Sabha was informed. 
In a written reply, Pankaj Chaudhary, minister of state for finance, says, "Number of PANs not linked with Aadhaar, excluding exempted categories, is 11.48 crore as of 29 January 2024. The total collection of fee from the persons who have not linked their PAN with Aadhaar is Rs601.97 crore from 1 July 2023 to 31 January 2024."
Member of Parliament (MP) Mala Roy had asked for details of the Union government earning through the late penalty of Rs1,000 from PAN-holders who have not linked their PAN card with Aadhaar during the past seven months. 
At present, there are 70.24 crore PAN card-holders in India. Last year in November, responding to a query filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the central board of direct taxes (CBDT) stated that 115mn PAN cards were deactivated for not being linked to Aadhaar.  
Section 234H of the Income-Tax (I-T) Act,1961 provides that where a person who is required to intimate his Aadhaar under sub-section (2) of section 139AA and fails to do so on or before a prescribed date, he shall be liable to pay a fee of up to Rs1,000 and 30 June 2023 has been notified as the last date for linking Aadhaar to PAN.
Further, 139A of the I-T Act prescribes various conditions under which an assessee is required to obtain a PAN. One such condition makes PAN and Aadhaar interchangeable for I-T purposes. "(a person)...who been allotted a PAN, and who has linked his Aadhaar number with PAN as per section 139AA, may furnish his Aadhaar number in lieu of a PAN for all the transactions where quoting of PAN is mandatory as per I-T Act," the tax department says.
4 months ago
It is very likely that many of these unconnected PAN cards are phony cards acquired for the purpose of benami property or assets. These will never get registered. They also may not be paying any income tax.
4 months ago
Next step GOI should cancel these PAN CARDS after giving due last warning to link them with Aadhar! There must be many with DUPLICATE or MULTIPLE PAN Cards for sure to fool the Tax authorities!
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