New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman must have got millions of Indians sighing in relief as she announced during her Budget speech on Friday that for making the filing of income tax returns easier, PAN card and Aadhaar card would be interchangeable. (Catch LIVE Updates of Minister’s Speech Here)

In simpler words, it means that one would be able to use one’s Aadhaar card for filing IT returns. The minister said, “More than 120 crore Indians now have Aadhaar card, therefore for ease of tax-payers, I propose to make PAN card and Aadhaar card interchangeable and allow those who don’t have PAN to file returns by simply quoting Aadhaar number. They would be able to use that wherever one is required to use PAN.”

The Minister said that pre-filled tax returns with information from salaries, bank interest, capital gain and dividend income would be made available.

Earlier this year, it had been made now mandatory to quote Aadhaar number without which the income tax returns wouldn’t be processed by the Income Tax department.

According to a new order issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the rules came into effect from April 1. The order was for all taxpayers who wanted to file income tax returns for the last financial year 2018-19, the last date for which is July 31.

It is mandatory to link PAN with Aadhaar card but the deadline has been extended to September 30. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had allowed linking of PAN with Aadhaar while reading out its verdict on the constitutional validity of Aadhaar.

The apex court said that Aadhaar is a must to file income tax returns (ITR) and to apply for a new PAN.