Several people, particularly those from the southern states, are having problems linking their Permanent Account Number with their Aadhaar card. The primary reason being they have two different names on their PAN and Aadhaar cards, reported The Hindu.

Unlike the rest of India, most people in the South do not use surnames and put initials either before or after their names. Although their school leaving certificates and other government documents have the initials of their surnames, their PAN card and passport have the expanded version. But now, the Income Tax department’s software is not accepting the integration of the two cards.

A chip designer from Chennai told The Hindu that his PAN card has his first name, surname and last name all jumbled up together whereas his name on the Aadhaar card is same as one used in his other government documents. “I am waiting for more clarity from the government. If they insist on linking the two cards on the website, it is going to be a problem.” Rakesh told the daily.

Another IT professional narrated a tweaked version of the same problem. Magesh Margabandu told the English newspaper that the name on his PAN card is wrong and misspelt. “Margabandu is my father’s name, but the PAN has swapped it, and the name also has a spelling mistake. My passport and Aadhaar have the correct spelling and the surname. Now, the I-T website is not linking my Aadhaar with PAN,” he added.

Not only initials, people with special characters in their names are also facing similar problems, reported The Times of India. For instance, college lecturer Eugiene D’Silva’s Aadhaar card does not have the apostrophe while the PAN card does. An income tax official said the only way to overcome this is to apply for a correction in one of the two cards.

However, people feel it will be a Herculean task to change the PAN card now as they will consequently have to change other documents and inform their banks. “It would be impossible for us to change our names on the PAN card as it would mean having to change several other documents, will have to inform my banks, submit fresh KYC [Know Your Customer] documents for three bank accounts, one demat account, and inform the insurance companies. It’s a nightmare,” says KS Srinivas whose PAN card has full stops between his initials while his Aadhaar card doesn’t.

The Centre has made Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns and linking PAN with the unique identification number. The PAN card will become invalid if it is not linked to Aadhaar by December 31. “This is threatening to turn taxpayers into defaulters,” a member of Citizens Forum for Civic Liberties, Gopal Krishna, told The Times of India.