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NRIs don't need to link Aadhaar to PAN

NRIs can obtain Aadhaar only after staying 182 days in India

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The requirement of quoting the Aadhaar number in the income tax return will also not apply to NRIs.

Dubai: The Indian Consulate General reiterated in a press release issued on Tuesday, that non-resident Indians (NRIs) don’t need to link Aadhaar, India’s biometric identity card, to their Permanent Account Number (PAN) issued by the Income Tax authorities.

The requirement of quoting the Aadhaar number in the income tax return will also not apply to NRIs, who are not eligible to get Aadhaar. Aadhaar card enrolment is presently available to residents in India only as per the section 3 of Aadhaar Act, 2016.

Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Cardholders who will stay in India for a long time (over 182 days within twelve months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment) and have an Indian address can also enrol for Aadhaar Card in India. NRIs, although are citizens of India, will not be eligible for the Aadhaar card if they have not stayed there for over 182 days in the last 12 months.

Upon completion of 182 days of their stay in India in the last 12 months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment, NRIs can apply for Aadhaar Card, said the press release.

As Gulf News exclusively reported on March 30, Dr Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), said in a telephone interview from New Delhi that the authority was not supposed to issue Aadhaar card to NRIs. “They [NRIs] cannot get a [Aadhar card].”

While applying for Aadhaar card, he explained, Indians have to make a declaration in the application stating that they are a resident (not an NRI).

As Gulf News reported on April 11, the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi had also announced that Aadhaar was not mandatory for obtaining a driver’s licence or a SIM card in India.

Aadhaar is one of the several documents recognised for address proof of the applicant, it said.

Gulf News reported on June 19 that Indian expatriates living across the globe don’t need to worry about any possible problems with their financial or income tax transactions in India for not having an Aadhaar.

Despite the exemption previously announced by the Indian authorities, many Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) expressed their concerns about disruption of transactions in NRE (Non-Resident External) bank accounts in India and filing of income tax returns.

As PAN was already made mandatory for holding a bank account, NRIs were concerned about a June 30 deadline to link Aadhaar with PAN.

Failure to link Aadhaar with PAN makes PAN redundant and hence some NRIs feared that this could affect their banking transactions.

PAN is already mandatory to make cash deposits above Rs50,000 (Dh2,850) with banks in India. A redundant PAN would also affect NRIs who invest in Indian stock market, for which PAN is mandatory.

However, an Indian government notification alleviated these concerns.

The requirement of quoting of Aadhaar shall not apply to NRIs for filing of return of income and for making an application for PAN with effect from July 1, 2017, according to the notification issued by the Central Government on May 11.

As Gulf News reported on April 7, India’s Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had also made a similar announcement.

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