Acceptance is the first step towards progress. The Indian Government has taken a great step forward by amending Income Tax Rules and adding an independent ‘Transgender’ category for applicants for obtaining a Permanent Account Number (PAN) for their tax-related transactions.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), which frames policy for the department, issued a notification on Monday that provides a new tick box for the transgender population to apply for the PAN.The notification, issued under sections 139A and 295 of the Income Tax Act, specifies the new application process for obtaining a PAN number by an individual.
Till now, only male and female gender categories were available to be chosen on the PAN application form
A senior official said the notification amending the tax rules was brought out in view of some representations received by the CBDT in this context.
“Individuals from the transgender community were facing hassles in obtaining a PAN card and this problem was further magnified as Aadhaar had the third gender category but not PAN. Hence, the transgenders were not able to link their PAN with their Aadhaar due to this anomaly,” the official said.
The amendment will now be reflected in Form 49A (PAN application form for Indian citizens) and 49AA (PAN application form for individuals not a citizen of India), the official added.
PAN is a 10-digit unique alphanumeric number alloted by the I-T department to individuals and entities.
The government has now made quoting of Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns (ITRs) as well as obtaining a new PAN. Section 139 AA (2) of the Income Tax Act says that every person having PAN as on July 1, 2017, and eligible to obtain Aadhaar, must intimate his Aadhaar number to the tax authorities.
This is great news for the Transgender community in India as this is a step towards normalizing trans people and not viewing them in a completely negative term, but the effects of this towards the mindset of people and the treatment of the trans community, only time will tell.