Indian government clarifies ‘Aadhaar’ ID rule

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The Indian government has issued a clarification relating to the use of ‘Aadhaar’ or Identity Card while filing Income Tax (IT) Returns.

A notification issued by the Commissioner of Income Tax, New Delhi and circulated by the Indian High Commission in Wellington said that while those submitting their IT Returns and while applying for allotment of Permanent Account Number should quote their Aadhaar or Enrolment ID, this clause would be applicable only to those eligible to obtain the Card.

Resident Indian defined

“It is clarified that such mandatory quoting of Aadhaar or Enrolment ID shall apply only to a person who is eligible to obtain Aadhaar number. As per the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, only a resident individual is entitled to obtain Aadhaar. Resident as per the said Act means an individual who has resided in India for a period or periods amounting in all to one hundred and eighty-two days or more in the twelve months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment. Accordingly, the requirement to quote Aadhaar as per section 139AA of the Income-tax Act shall not apply to an individual who is not a resident as per the Aadhaar Act, 2016,” the notification said.

The notification relates to Section 139AA of the Income-tax Act, 1961 as introduced by the Finance Act, 2017.

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About Aadhaar

World Bank Chief Economist Paul Romer described Aadhar as “the most sophisticated ID programme in world.”

It is the world’s largest biometric ID system, with more than 1.133 billion enrolled members as of March 31, 2017. As of this date, more than 99% of Indians aged 18 and above had been enrolled in Aadhaar.

Aadhaar is a 12-digit Unique Identity Number issued to all Indian residents based on their biometric and demographic data.

The data is collected by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), a statutory authority established on July 12, 2016 by the Indian government under the Electronics and Information Technology Ministry under the provisions of the Aadhaar Act 2016.

No domicile rights

Aadhaar is not a proof of citizenship and does not grant any rights to domicile in India.

Prior to the enactment of the Act, UIDAI functioned as an attached office of Planning Commission (now NITI Aayog) since 28 January 2009.

On March 3, 2016, a money bill was introduced to Parliament to give legislative backing to Aadhaar.  On March 11, 2016, the Aadhaar Act 2016 was passed in the Lok Sabha and notified in the Gazette of India on March 26, 2016.

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