PAN-Aadhaar link hits a new hurdle

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Thousands of people may not be able to file their income tax returns this year, without any fault on their end, owing to an issue of PAN cards not accepting the initials in a person’s name.

A report on The Hindu says that the PAN software, which is 30 years old, is not compatible with the Aadhaar system, which uses biometric authentication and hence the use of initials in their name. PAN, on the other hand, does not, owing to the dated software used to manage the database.

The Income Tax department said it has no solution to the problem, leaving several people in a lurch. An official from the department said that this problem has persisted since the beginning of the PAN-Aadhaar linkage, with the outdated software used to manage PAN not accepting initials of its holders.

The official said that the number of people affected ranges in the tens of thousands, and is more pronounced in south India because the names here are long and abbreviated in many cases.

However, the official ruled out any immediate plans of upgrading the PAN software, saying it is a sensitive issue as it allows the department to use PAN records to track a person over time. He also said that people should change the names on their Aadhaar cards to reflect their PAN cards.

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