New Delhi, July 31 - The deadline for filing Income Tax Returns for 2016-17 has been extended till August 5, the Income Tax Department said on Monday, and asked taxpayers to link their Aadhaar Cards with PAN latest by August 31. "In view of the difficulties faced by taxpayers, the date for filing of Income Tax Returns for 2016-17 has been extended to August 5," the department tweeted.
With July 31 as the last date for filing of ITRs, the Income Tax Department received complaints that a number of taxpayers were not able to log on to the e-filing portal due to huge rush during the day. The extension also comes in view of difficulties faced by taxpayers as quoting Aadhaar number was made mandatory for ITR filings from July 1.
"There are some complaints that taxpayers are not able to log on to the e-filing website of the Income Tax Department or not being able to link their Aadhaar numbers with Permanent Account Numbers (PANs) because of different names reflected in PAN and Aadhaar database.
"While technical snags have already been removed, the main reason for the failure of taxpayers to log in is because of the last-minute rush and panic among those who have already logged in about disconnection," a Finance Ministry statement said.
In order to ease the situation, the government said for e-filing of returns, it would be sufficient, as of now, to quote the Aadhaar or the acknowledgement number of applied-for Aadhaar number in e-filing website.
"The actual linking of PAN with Aadhaar can be done subsequently, but any time before August 31. The returns will not be processed till this linkage is done," it said.
Quoting of Aadhaar was made mandatory for filing of income tax returns, as introduced by the Finance Act 2017.
Aadhaar number is also compulsory for making an application for the allotment of PAN.
Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961, as introduced by the Finance Act, 2017, provides for the mandatory quoting of Aadhaar/Enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form, for filing of returns of income and for making an application for allotment of PAN with effect from July 1.
Mandatory quoting of Aadhaar or Enrolment ID will apply only to a person who is eligible to obtain an Aadhaar number.
As per the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, only a resident individual is entitled to obtain Aadhaar Card.
A resident, as per the said Act, means an individual who has resided in India for a period(s) totalling 182 days or more in 12 months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment.
Accordingly, the requirement to quote Aadhaar as per Section 139AA shall not apply to an individual who is not a resident as per the Aadhaar Act, 2016.