For years transgenders have struggled to get basic facilities and have been denied a decent lifestyle. Most of the government identity proof documents does not have an option to classify yourself as a transgender. The gender category of the applicant should either be male or female. For this very reason, transgender across the country could not enrol in schools, get a job, or apply for government-issued identity proof documents.
To end this issue, the Government of India announced that going forward, transgenders can apply for PAN and perform tax-related transactions under the “Independent” category. The form which is now being used to apply for the Permanent Account Number (PAN) has been amended to include the “Third Gender” option. According to a gazette notification which was issued on 9 April 2018, going forward, the PAN application form will have “Transgender” option along with “Male” and “Female” options. The country appreciates this move. The other major government-issued documents namely, Aadhaar and Voter ID already has this option.
Why Do You Need A Transgender Option In Pan Card Application?
PAN is one of the most important financial document that is issued by the Government of India which can be used as an identity proof across the country. It is required to perform many important activities like opening a bank account, filing your tax returns, applying for important documents like passport, getting employment, or buying a property.
To apply for a PAN in India, an applicant has to enter his/her Aadhaar number. The Aadhaar system allows applicants to apply as transgender but the PAN application does not. As the government has made it mandatory to give Aadhaar details while applying for a PAN, transgenders who have a valid Aadhaar number find it difficult to apply for PAN as the gender details do not match. Even if there is any slight difference in the information provided in the PAN application and the Aadhaar card, the application gets rejected.
As transgenders could not link their PAN with Aadhaar, they faced problems in filing their Income Tax Returns as Aadhaar card is a mandatory document to file taxes. The tax department could not process their ITR claim without a valid Aadhaar number.
Moreover, having a PAN makes many things easy like applying for a gas connection, getting a loan, applying for a credit card, or opening a Public Provident Fund account.
Transgender Can Apply For Pan- What You Need To Know About The New Rule
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is the department that frames the rules and regulations related to tax in the country. They issued a notification under sections 139A and 295 of the Income Tax Act which clearly specifies the new procedure to apply for a PAN by an individual in the country.
The changes will be seen in Form 49A (PAN application form for Indian citizens) and 49AA (PAN application form for individuals not a citizen of India). Transgenders who already have an Aadhaar card can intimate the tax department about the same and obtain their new PAN.
The bottom line
Allowing transgenders to apply for PAN is a move that is welcomed and appreciated by many. This decision is going to change the lifestyle of transgenders across the country and will make them feel heard and accepted. They can now apply for other documents using their Aadhaar and PAN.