What is the change? India’s Ministry of Finance has said it will not require foreign nationals to obtain Aadhaar cards in order to pay taxes.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals required to pay taxes in India may do so using a Permanent Account Number.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Aadhaar cards.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals who were in India for 182 days or more for the one-year period that ended March 31.
  • Impact on processing times: The change will make it easier for foreign nationals to file income tax returns in India.

Background: Indian authorities said in April that foreign nationals who stay in India for 182 days or more in a one-year period would be required to obtain an Aadhaar card to pay domestic taxes. The government has changed course, however, and said last week that foreign nationals required to pay taxes will no longer be required to obtain an Aadhaar card and may do so with their Permanent Account Number.

BAL Analysis: The change is welcome news, especially for foreign nationals required to pay taxes even though they are no longer in the country. Obtaining an Aadhaar card would have been difficult in these circumstances, and the government’s move to exempt foreign nationals from the Aadhaar card requirement will make filing tax returns easier.

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