Income tax returns (ITR) filing: Aadhaar card a problem? Do this then

Jul 26, 2018, 12:14 PM IST

Income tax returns (ITR) filing: People without Aadhaar card number have been a worried lot for quite some time. They believed that their inability to get the Aadhaar car number will negatively impact their desire to file their income tax returns. This in itself opens them up to various penalties and undesirable interaction with the taxman. This case was then taken to the high court and it has given its decision on Tuesday. 


Good news is that these taxpayers without Aadhaar card have to worry no more because the Delhi High Court has now allowed them to file their income tax returns online. The court on Tuesday asked the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to accept e-filing returns without quoting an Aadhaar or Aadhaar enrolment number. Image source: Reuters


Delhi High Court order was passed after two lawyers Jayshree Satpute and Shreya Sen moved the court submitting they could not file their income tax returns as they didn't have Aadhaar number. Image source: Reuters


Justices AK Chawla and Ravindra Bhatt said that the officials will have to accept the income tax returns filed before the deadline, which is July 31, this year. The court said as the CBDT has extended the deadline for the PAN-Aadhaar linking to March 31, 2019, there should be an “opt out” option for people filing their returns online. The CBDT was directed to make changes in their platform, so that people do not face inconvenience while filing returns for year 2017-18. Image source: Reuters


To income tax returns filers' relief, the Centre has extended the deadline for individuals to link their Permanent Account Number (PAN) to their biometric ID (Aadhaar). Notably, this was the fifth time such a step was taken. Last year, the government, through an amendment in Section 139AA Income Tax, had mandated linking of PAN with Aadhaar. The Supreme Court considered legality of the provision and ruled that it was not violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. Image source: Reuters


The bench did not consider Right to Privacy at that time, since then the matter is being heard before the Constitutional Bench. The SC has held that those who had not yet enrolled in the Aadhaar were free to file income tax returns without quoting the number, until the pronouncement in the Right to Privacy matter. Image source: Reuters