A public notice issued on Sunday by India's Income Tax Department called for linking of Permanent Account Number (PAN) details and Aadhaar cards by December 31.
The deadline was revised to December 31 after an extension in September - the initial deadline was September 30.
What are these cards?
A PAN is issued by the Income Tax Department in the form of a card - it is necessary for filing income tax returns and is also used as a form of identity documentation within the country. The card is a mandatory requirement in many financial transactions. Aadhaar, on the other hand, is issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to Indian residents which can be used for various documentation requirements as a proof of identity.
Non-resident Indians (NRI) were not allowed to hold Aadhaar cards but this has changed. All Indian expats in the UAE, along with NRIs in other countries, with a valid passport can now apply for the unique biometric identity card in India
Who should link their cards?
According to the notification issued earlier this year, any citizen who has been issued a PAN card as of July 2017 is supposed to link the card with their Aadhaar card.
The authority has also issued details about the various methods to complete this linking; via SMS, online or through designated service centres.
The linking was first proposed to be enforced in 2017 but the deadline has been extended several times since then.
What can happen if it is not done?
Your PAN card could become 'inoperative' as per the latest budget rules released in July.
This can affect all future financial transactions you wish to perform back home.
How exactly the PAN will be made inoperative is yet to be announced and is unclear to most experts, according to reports. It is clear, however, that since PAN is mandatory for many transactions in India from bank procedures to purchase of land/property, it can adversely affect financial decisions if not done.