Non-residents will not have to quote Aadhaar or its enrolment ID for filing income tax returns (ITRs) or for securing permanent account numbers (PAN), the income tax department on Wednesday clarified.
The move addresses concerns among migrants who have resided in India for 182 days or more in the preceding 12 months as defined in the Aadhaar Act, 2016. The tax department’s move is significant as non-residents may be few in numbers, but may be key decision makers in the corporate sector.
A statement from the tax department said the tax law was amended through Finance Act, 2017 requiring mandatory quoting of Aadhaar number or the enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form for filing of tax return of income and for making an application for allotment of PAN with effect from 1st July.
This requirement, however, shall not apply to an individual who is not a resident as per the Aadhaar Act, 2016, the department clarified.
Experts welcomed the move but said it would have been better if the relief was made available to expats who stay in India for slightly longer period.
Amarpal Chadha, tax partner and India mobility leader, EY India, said, “It will be more beneficial if the exception could be extended even to those individuals who qualify as ‘resident-but-not-ordinarily-resident’ under the Income Tax Act. These are generally expatriates who come to India for a duration of two to three years. These expatriates are anyway required to apply for a permanent account number for deposit of taxes,” said Chadha.