A guide to PAN-Aadhaar linking for NRIs

A guide to PAN-Aadhaar linking for NRIs

04 September, 2023

As an NRI, if you are confused about the PAN-Aadhar Card linking and about why your PAN Card has turned inoperative, especially since you have been diligently filing your ITRs as an NRI all these years, you're not alone. Here's the catch - even though you're a non-resident in the Income Tax department's records, they may not have automatically mapped this to the PAN-Aadhaar linking requirement.

If you are eligible to obtain an Aadhaar card, it is mandatory to link it with your PAN card under Section 139AA(2). As an NRI, you are not obligated to obtain an Aadhaar number. However, the Income Tax department has mandated that you update the income tax portal with your residential status. This requirement applies even if you have been filing taxes as a Non-Resident Indian for the past few years and are registered as an NRI with the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL). Consequently, many NRIs are now facing the issue of their PAN cards becoming inoperative.

You need to take the initiative and notify the IT department about your NRI status by applying for the same.

1. Income Tax Returns (ITRs) and refunds:

Filing income tax returns has become difficult due to the Pan-Aadhaar linking issue. This problem may have kept you from claiming pending tax refunds, adding to the uncertainty surrounding your PAN card.

2. Tax deducted at source (TDS) certificates:

Previously, you could have mitigated the impact of high TDS rates (ranging from 20% to 30%) on various financial activities, like rental income, property sales, and Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) account transactions. However, with an inoperative PAN card, you are no longer eligible to avail of this benefit.

As an NRI, you play a crucial role in boosting the country's economy. You not only enhance the country's global image but also contribute significantly to its financial strength through inward remittances.

These remittances constitute nearly 3% of India's GDP, and your investments in Mutual Funds, shares and bonds contribute to the country's foreign exchange reserves. Any disruption in the inflow of remittances could have adverse effects on India's macroeconomic stability.

Resolving the inoperative PAN issue

To address the inoperative PAN issue, the IT department has outlined specific formalities for NRIs. You need to provide supporting documents, including a copy of your PAN card and passport, to demonstrate your residential status and period. This documentation will facilitate the IT department in updating your residential status in the PAN database.

If you are grappling with an inoperative PAN card, you have two practical options to rectify the situation:

Option 1: Change residential status with the Income Tax department

  1. Send an email to the IT officer, attaching your passport copy and documents supporting your past stay in India.

  2. Use the email ID of the relevant tax jurisdiction found on the IT portal.

  3. Wait for the tax department to update your status.

  4. Once done, notify the Assessing Officer that PAN-Aadhaar linking is no longer necessary, and they will reactivate your PAN.

Option 2: Apply for an Aadhaar Card

While you aren't obliged to obtain an Aadhaar card, you can choose this route to revive your PAN.

You must visit an Aadhaar Kendra in India. Online application is not available; you can only schedule an appointment online, but you must be physically present for biometrics.


As an NRI, the Pan-Aadhaar linking issue has posed considerable challenges, impacting your financial transactions and investment prospects in India. The inoperative PAN card may have caused disruptions in your financial activities, leading to distress and uncertainty.

To foster smoother compliance with the linking process, the authorities must provide clear guidelines and obligations for NRIs. Until then, please follow the steps mentioned above to effectively resolve the inoperative PAN issue.

Click Here for the List of Aadhar Seva Kendra

​​​​​​​* Terms and conditions apply. The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances.

Click Here for the List of Aadhar Seva Kendra

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