If you were awaiting a good news, this one comes as a relief. If you are an NRI, filing taxes regularly in India, you do not need the Aadhaar card to be linked to your PAN in order to file your returns.
What is the Aadhaar all about?
The Aadhaar is a 12-digit random number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). Aadhaar number is issued to each resident of India after a thorough verification process regulated by the UIDAI. Any person, residing is India, may voluntarily enroll for an Aadhaar number by feeding their demographic and biometric information during enrollment. This is a unique number and one of the key pillars of digital India offering an identification platform to the citizens of the country.
What is the take of the Government of India?
The Indian Government has exempted NRIs from the requirement of quoting their Aadhaar number while filing tax returns in India. Many of you, who regularly file tax returns in India, do not possess an Aadhaar number/card. It became a matter of growing concern after the Government initiated the move to link the Aadhaar number with PAN for a financial transaction and filing tax returns by 30 June 2017.
A top Indian official clarified that NRIs were not eligible for the unique number and the government must exempt them in this regard. If need be, the departments will accept a declaration from NRI that s/he is not eligible for the Aadhaar number.
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The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) announced the exemption of NRIs on the requirement to quote Aadhaar for filing tax returns and applying for the allotment of PAN effective 1 July 2017 onwards. It further clarified that an Indian is a resident if only s/he resided in the country for 182 days or more in the preceding 12 months from the date of application. Otherwise, s/he is not eligible for documents such as Aadhaar.