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As a citizen of India who contributes to the country's economy, have a PAN card is essential. The Government officially introduced the PAN card under Section 139A of the Income Tax Act of 1961. This was to counter and improve upon numerous disadvantages of the GIR (General Index Registrar Number) system that was in place before PAN. The main problem with the GIR was that it didn't provide unique numbers to taxpayers that often led to confusion and tax evasion.

It is that time of the year when talks about income tax filing returns are heard in every home and office. Did you know that one cannot file IT returns without PAN and without linking it to Aadhar card to Pan Card? What's that? The blue card that finds a place in your parents' wallet, along with credit and debit cards, is the PAN card. Take a look at it. You will find a photo of the card holder, name, surname and an aphla-numeric number and date of birth.


Permanent Account Number (PAN) is a code issued by the Department of Income Tax. It is a 10-digit number-and-alphabet combination and is unique to each individual. Identify this number on your parent's card. And a PAN Card is a physical representation of this. It is a document that you must have to file your taxes and serve as proof of identity. It would be something like this - ABCDP4678H. This number enables the department to monitor financial transactions of the holder. It also helps the Income Tax department to keep track of the tax paid or evaded by an individual. The first ever such card was issued in 1964. It is also issued to foreign nationals such as investors.

Permanent Account Number (PAN) is a ten-digit alphanumeric number, issued in the form of laminated card, by the Income Tax Department, to any "person" who applies for it or to whom the department allots the number without an application.

PAN was introduced to facilitates linking of various documents, including payment of taxes, assessment, tax demand, tax arrears etc. relating to an assessee, to facilitate easy retrieval of information and to facilitate matching of information relating to investment, raising of loans and other business activities of taxpayers collected through various sources, both internal as well as external, for detecting and combating tax evasion and widening of tax base.

A typical PAN is AFZPK7190K.
  • First three characters i.e. “AFZ” in the above PAN are alphabetic series running from AAA to ZZZ
  • Fourth character of PAN i.e. “P” in the above PAN represents the status of the PAN holder. “P” stands for Individual, “F” stands for Firm, “C” stands for Company, “H” stands for HUF, “A” stands for AOP, “T” stands for TRUST etc.
  • Fifth character i.e. “K” in the above PAN represents first character of the PAN holder’s last name/surname.
  • Next four characters i.e. “7190” in the above PAN are sequential number running from 0001 to 9999.
  • Last character i.e. “K” in the above PAN is an alphabetic check digit.

It is mandatory to quote PAN on return of income, all correspondence with any income tax authority. From 1 January 2005 it will be mandatory to quote PAN on challans for any payments due to Income Tax Department. It is mandatory for an individual to declare his/her PAN when opening a bank account, receiving taxable salary or professional fees, while making certain high-value transactions, while buying a property or a car worth over a certain limit, buying or selling shares or mutual funds, applying for a visa/passport, making payment of income tax or filing tax return, and while applying for a bank loan. Through it, the Income Tax department is kept in the loop of one's income, property details, investment and tax payment. PAN, thus, acts as an identifier of the person with the tax department.

  • Filing your IT Return
  • Opening a New Bank Account
  • Purchasing Jewellery
  • Borrowing a Loan
  • Applying for a New telephone connection
  • Purchasing Property
  • Getting a New gas connection
  • Getting a new debit/credit card
  • Buying or selling a vehicle above a certain amount
  • Registering Your Business
  • Making investments in securities above a certain amount
  • Starting a Fixed deposit or cash deposit of a certain amount
  • Making Insurance payments above a certain amount
  • Buying a Foreign Currency
  • Paying to Travel Agency
  • Buying Airtickets
  • Making any expense related to Travel

All taxpayers, a producer or manufacturer of excisable goods, anyone who intends to make financial transactions where quoting PAN is mandatory and even those who furnish a return of income, on behalf of others, must obtain PAN. Companies and trusts should also have PAN. If you recently applied for PAN card, then it takes around 1-2 months to reach at your address.
In 2008, a three-month-old baby from Orissa got PAN, after a trust signed the baby up for modelling.

  • Filing ITR: For any individual, resident Indian or an NRI, a PAN is required to be quoted at the time of filing income tax returns.
  • Reduce Tax Deduction at Source (TDS): Quoting a PAN Card at varous places can help reduce the TDS rate. For instance, banks will deduct TDS of 30% on the interest-earned above Rs 10,000 in a savings account instead of 10% if PAN is not furnished.
  • Claiming Tax Refunds: When the tax liability is more than already paid in the form of TDS, the taxpayer can claim refunds. However, the bank account where you want the refund has to be linked to your PAN.
  • Bank Accounts: All bank accounts apart from saving account schemes under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, a PAN card is required to be furnished.
  • Demat Accounts: A Demat account is required if you wish to hold the financial securities such as shares, bonds, or ETFs. A PAN card is an an essential requirement while opening the same.
  • NRO Accounts: NRIs need to furnish PAN card details if they wish to open rupee-denominated NRO accounts for storing their income earned from India. However, for NRE or FCNR accounts, Form-60 can be provided as a substitute for PAN.
  • Cash Deposits in Bank Account: If you are depositing cash in your bank account or someone else’s, you’ll need to furnish PAN details if the deposit is more than Rs 50,000.
  • Demand Drafts and Banker’s Cheque: For issuance of bank draft, pay orders or banker’s cheque exceeding Rs 50,000 , PAN details are a necessary requirement.
  • Hotels and Restaurant Bills: You need to provide PAN details while paying hotels and restaurant bills in cash that exceed Rs 50,000 in value.
  • Life Insurance Premiums in a Financial Year: If the life insurance premiums exceed Rs 50,000 in a year, the PAN details of the insured is necessary.
  • Payments to Pre-paid Instruments in a Financial Year: Payments to e-wallets, gift cards, pre-paid cash cards exceeding Rs 50,000 in a year would need you to furnish your PAN details.
  • Buying Mutual Funds, Debentures, and Bonds: Buying mutual funds, debentures, or bonds which exceed Rs 50,000 in value in a year, would need you to furnish your PAN details.
  • Registering a Business: While registering a business, you need to acquite a unique Tax Registration Number (TRN) which can only be given if you furnish PAN details of your company and of the rightful owners.
  • Using PAN Card as Identity Proof: No matter where you use PAN card, remember that it will always be identity proof and not address proof. The PAN card provides only personal details like your PAN, name, date of Birth and signature. A PAN card does not have the details about your residential address. So, it can't qualify as address proof. Documents like your Aadhar card, Passport, driver's license, Phone bill and electricity bill are accepted as address proof.
  • Link your PAN using Internet banking: Log into your net banking account and click the option that says 'PAN CARD UPDATION'. Enter all PAN Details, Once you have submitted these details, your PAN will be linked in around 2 working days.

Having a PAN card is mandatory for a host of entities. Take a look at who can apply for one.
  • Indiviuals with valid address and Identity proof, and date of birth proof
  • NRIs
  • Hindu Undivided Families
  • Minors, especially if you are making investments in your child's name or nominating them for property
  • Partnership Firm
  • Limited Liability Partnerships
  • Trusts
  • Companies
  • Local authorities
  • Association of Persons
  • Artificial Judicial Persons
A PAN is an essential document which you should apply for right away. Applying for it is easy and you should get your PAN within a few days provided all the details provided are right. NRIs, OCIs and PIOs an also apply for PAN card. MAke sure you furnish the right details and you don’t already have a PAN in your name. So what are you thinking? Contact us for applying the PAN Card for you, your company etc.

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