In a major relief to tax payers, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Saturday extended the deadline for the PAN - Aadhaar linking to March 31 next year. This is the fifth time the government has extended the deadline for individuals to link their Permanent Account Number (PAN) to their biometric ID (Aadhaar).
The CBDT had last extended the deadline on March 27.
The policy-making body of the tax department issued an order, under Section 119 of the Income Tax Act, late night, extending the deadline.
The latest order said the deadline for the PAN-Aadhaar linking for filing I-T returns was being extended after "consideration of the matter".
It is understood that the fresh CBDT order has come against the backdrop of the Supreme Court earlier this year directing extension of the March 31, 2018 deadline for linking Aadhaar card with various other services.
The apex court had ordered that the deadline be extended till the five-judge constitution bench delivers its judgment on petitions challenging the validity of the biometric scheme and the enabling law.
The government has now made quoting of Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns (ITRs) as well as obtaining a new PAN.
Section 139 AA (2) of the Income Tax Act says that every person having PAN as on July 1, 2017, and eligible to obtain Aadhaar, must intimate his Aadhaar number to the tax authorities.
As per updated data till March, over 16.65 crore PANs, out of the total about 33 crore, have been linked with Aadhaar.
The earlier deadlines for linking the two databases were July 31, August 31 and December 31, 2017, March 31 and June 30 this year.
(With PTI inputs)