Dubai - Linking PAN, Aadhaar not mandatory for NRIs

Dubai - Linking PAN, Aadhaar not mandatory for NRIs
Dubai - Linking PAN, Aadhaar not mandatory for NRIs

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Indian expats in the UAE are advised to ideally link their Aadhaar and Permanent Account Number (PAN) by December 31, 2019, but the process isn't mandatory, an official from the Indian embassy has said.

Expats need to inform their bank about their current status. "Aadhaar card isn't mandatory for non-resident Indian (NRI). It can't be issued unless you stay in India for 183 days. Someone would be a citizen when he or she received Aadhaar card and later became an NRI. If someone has Aadhaar card, it is advisable for them to link it with PAN. It is a simple process. But it isn't mandatory," the official said.

However, the official underlined that an expat Indian bank account holder needs to inform the bank about his/her current status as an NRI.

"In case you have Aadhaar and don't want to link cards, inform the bank about your status as an NRI. It isn't necessary for the bank to know your present status. There may be NRIs who maintain normal bank accounts. All these things should be informed to the bank. Also, if you don't have Aadhaar, it's better to inform the bank that you are an NRI as there might be some confusion. In both cases inform your bank," the official added.

According to Indian income tax laws, if the PAN isn't linked to Aadhaar by December 31, then it will become inoperative. It will affect bank transactions where PAN card has to = quoted. This confusion can be avoided if banks are informed about an expat's NRI status. The date of linking PAN with Aadhaar was extended from September 30 to December 31.

Meanwhile, expat and Paravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust chairman KV Shamsudheen, who appealed to the Indian Ministry of Finance for extension of the deadline, said: "I received a notification from the Revenue Department, which stated that provision of Section 139 AA doesn't apply to non-resident Indian."

Section 139 AA of the Income Tax Act states that every person who has PAN is required to link it with Aadhaar failing which the PAN card will become invalid. "Based on the information, I suggest if a NRI has Aadhaar he can link with PAN Card. Those who do not have need not worry about it."

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Ashwani Kumar

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