The SC judgement on PAN/Aadhaar linking seems to have hit a nerve. Aside from journalists who routinely seek opinion on judgement, many clients are asking me about this.

The Interpretation (strictly as it stands, maybe the court will clarify, maybe it stands as is) can be broken into 2 categories

  1. If you have an Aadhaar number, you need to seed it with PAN. Period.
  2. If you do not have an Aadhaar number
    1. You do not need to get one in order to seed your Aadhaar number and the PAN card will not be cancelled. No consequences of PAN cancellation shall befall upon you.
    2. However, and this is where it gets tricky due to drafting of the judgement (or clever drafting if this was the intent), if you have to file your returns after July 1, 2017, you cannot do that without quoting your Aadhaar number. There is no relief from consequences of not filing IT returns. In effect, you get one year to get yourself an Aadhaar number if you file your returns before June 30, 2017 (provided you don’t have to file again for whatever reason until next year).