Pune: Due to the fear of the Permanent Account Numbers (PAN) getting blocked or becoming invalid from July 1, thousands of citizens logged on to the Income Tax Department website to link their Aadhaar card to their PAN card on Friday. However, users had to wait for long hours and engage in repeated attempts to link both documents as the servers slowed down due to excessive traffic.
“Individuals having PAN will have to link it to their existing 12-digit biometric Aadhaar number from July 1,” a government notification had stated earlier in the week. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley through an amendment to tax proposals in the Finance Bill for 2017-18 had made Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns and provided for linking of PAN with Aadhaar to check tax evasion through use of multiple PAN cards. Under the impression that non-linking will render the PAN card invalid from July 1, thousands got into the process of linking both the documents. People faced timeouts and unable to load page notifications while attempting to link the documents on Friday.
A city resident, Pushkar Gurjar, spent a substantial part of the day just trying to open the website. “I had been trying to open the Income Tax Department website since morning. However, despite repeated attempts, the website would just not open. It was only in the afternoon that the web page actually opened,” he said.
He further added that after the webpage opened, linking the documents was another task. “Once the page opened, I tried to link the PAN card to the Aadhaar but it either showed me a pop-up stating that the servers are not responding or there is an error in UIDAI or the service is busy; please try after some time. After several attempts I was able to link both the documents,” he said.
Another Punekar Aishwarya Naik shared a similar ordeal and said that all sorts of errors were showing up when she was trying to link the documents. “I repeatedly received an error message stating that the incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in page isn’t working; incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in didn’t send any data or the site is not working. It was only by late afternoon that I was able to access the website and link the numbers after repeated attempts,” she said.
In a statement issued by the Central Board for Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Wednesday, CBDT clarified that the PAN cards that are not linked to Aadhaar by July 1 will not be cancelled in order to calm the nerves of the people.
It further stated that a date when the PAN will get cancelled without Aadhaar linkage will be announced at a later date.