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India just made it easier for trans people to get their tax done

Written by gaytourism

Trans people can now register as a third gender when apply for a tax number. | Photo: Flickr/Whitney Lauren

Talking tax isn’t anyone’s idea of fun, but for trans people in India doing their tax just became a lot easier.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) directs policy for the Indian Income Tax Department.

It announced it will create a ‘third gender’ option on the Permanent Account Number (PAN) form.

The PAN is a unique 10-digit income number for income tax.

CBDT listened to the calls

The decision to add a third gender option came after multiple requests, according to CBDT senior official.

Trans people can identify as third gender on the national ID card, Aadhaar. But until now could not do so on their tax records.

‘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,’ the senior official told The Hindu.

‘Hence, they were notable to link their PAN with their Aadhaar due to this anomaly.’

In 2014, the Supreme Court of India instructed the Indian Government to allow transgender Indians to register as third gender in official documents.

The court’s historic ruling also instructed the government to recognize trans people as economically and socially discriminated against. This recognition would help them get preferential treatment in finding employment and education.

Since then a third gender option has been counted on the national census and even when booking train tickets.

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