Permanent Account Number or PAN is a means of identifying various taxpayers in the country. PAN is a 10-digit unique identification alphanumeric number (containing both alphabets and numbers) assigned to Indians, mostly to those who pay tax.
The PAN system of identification is a computer-based system that assigns unique identification number to every Indian tax paying entity. Through this method, all tax-related information for a person is recorded against a single PAN number which acts as the primary key for storage of information. This is shared across the country and hence no two people on tax paying entities can have the same PAN.
When PAN is allotted to an entity, PAN Card too is given by the Income Tax Department. While PAN is a number, PAN Card is a physical card that has your PAN as well as name, date of birth (DoB), and photograph. Copies of this card can be submitted as proof of identity or DoB.
Your PAN Card is valid for lifetime because it is unaffected by any change in address.
PAN Card application can be made online on one of the following websites:
You can also apply offline at any of the district-level PAN agencies. You can apply for a new PAN as well as make correction or change information yourself. You can even request for a duplicate PAN Card or reprint the card if you lose the original.
For new PAN, Indian citizens and NRIs (including companies, NGOs, partnership firms, local bodies, trusts, etc.) need to fill Form 49A. Foreigners and foreign entities need to use Form 49AA. These forms, along with all the required PAN documents , should be submitted to the Income Tax PAN Services Unit.
Once you apply for a new or duplicate PAN, or request for corrections/changes, you can track the status of PAN application via the acknowledgement number provided.
As per the NSDL website, the entire process of printing and dispatching cards takes approximately 2 weeks or 14 days.
PAN Card is important for taxpayers as it is necessary for all financial transactions and is used to track the inflow and outflow of your money. It is important when paying income tax, receiving tax refunds, and receiving communication from the Income Tax Department.
The Indian Budget 2019 proposed that individuals who do not have a PAN can use their Aadhaar number to file returns and for any other purpose where PAN was earlier mandatory. This means that if you have not link pan with aadhar yet, or do not have a PAN but have an Aadhaar, you don't have to either link PAN and Aadhaar, or apply for a new PAN. However, the rules about this are still in the process of creation/updation/approval.
That said, PAN continues to be necessary for a large number of monetary transactions. PAN Card also serves as a proof of identity. Given below are some of the uses and advantages of having a PAN.
Who Should Get PAN? – PAN Card Eligibility
Under section 139A of the Income Tax Act, the following taxpaying entities are required to have a Permanent Account Number:
Tracking PAN Transactions
The government recently unveiled a programme by which it can track transactions made through a PAN card for the purpose of calculating tax. Known as the Income Tax Business Application-Permanent Account Number or ITBAN-PAN, it will enable the Income Tax Department to track every transaction made where a particular PAN number was quoted.
What happens if you don't have PAN Card?
If your income falls in the taxable bracket, not having a PAN card would result in:
*Please note that these rules may change once Aadhaar and PAN become interchange
New Design of PAN Cards
The Income Tax Department has prescribed a new format for PAN Cards issued after 1 January 2017. The changes made to the new PAN Card have been listed below:
In order to apply for a PAN card, an application form has to be filled out. There are two types of application forms – Form 49A and Form 49AA. Both the forms can be availed through both online and offline platforms.
The Cost of PAN Application
An individual can make an online application for his or her PAN card. This can be done through the NSDL website or the UTITSL portal. The cost of application for PAN can be summed as follows:
Given below are the steps you will have to follow if you wish to make changes or correction to your Pan Card online:
Given below are the steps you will have to follow if you wish to apply for PAN Card offline
Income Tax PAN Services Unit, NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited, 5th floor, Mantri Sterling, Plot No. 341, Survey No. 997/8, Model Colony, Near Deep Bungalow Chowk, Pune – 411016.
You will later receive an application number which you can use to track the status of your PAN Card application.
In order to apply for PAN Card, you will have to submit a host of documents including Form 49A or 49AA. Given below is the list of documents you will have to submit while applying for a PAN Card:
If you are an individual applicant
If you belong to a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF)
For companies registered in India
Firms and Limited Liability Partnerships registered or formed in India
For Trusts formed or registered in India
For Association of Persons
Applicants who are not Citizens of India
How to apply for a Duplicate PAN Card if you have Lost your Original PAN Card
You will have to follow the steps given below to order for a duplicate PAN Card if you have lost your Original PAN Card:
Income Tax PAN Services Unit, NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited, 5th Floor, Mantri Sterling, Plot No. 341, Survey No. 997/8, Model Colony, Near Deep Bungalow Chowk, Pune – 411 016.
PAN Card is issued by the Income Tax Department with help from authorised district-level PAN agencies, UTI ITSL (UTI Infrastructure Technology and Services Limited), and NSDL (National Securities Depository Limited). There are several TIN-Facilitation Centres and PAN centres across the country, run by NSDL that help citizens get their PAN Card.
The process of issuing of PAN works on the PPP (Public Private Partnership) model. This is done to maintain economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of managing, processing, and issuing PAN applications.
Your Permanent Account Number is not a series of random numbers and letters. The structure of PAN is actually quite interesting. Here's what each component of PAN means:
PAN cards are issued to different tax-paying entities. Based on that, the types of PAN are:
PAN Cards issued to individuals have the person's photograph, name, father's name, date of birth, signature, an authenticity hologram, QR Code, date of issue of the PAN, and the Permanent Account Number. PAN Cards issued to companies have the name of the company, its date of registration, the PAN number, hologram, QR Code, and date of issue of PAN. It will not have a photograph or signature.
History of PAN in India
Before the concept of PAN was introduced, there was a GIR number assigned to taxpayers. This was basically a manual system and was unique only within a ward or under a particular assessing officer. However, the number was not unique at the country level. Since GIR unique not unique, there could be higher chances of miscalculation and errors, or cases of mistaken identity during tax assessment.
The GIR number was allotted by the Assessing Officer to a tax payer and it included the Assessing Officer's information as well.
In the year 1972, the concept of PAN was rolled out by the Indian government and was made statutory under section 139A of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Initially a voluntary process, PAN was made mandatory for all tax paying individuals in 1976.
The initial PAN number allotments were made manually, and to avoid duplication, each ward/circle received a certain set of numbers. This series was abandoned in the year 1995.
As per the guidelines of Know Your Customer or KYC, the details furnished on a PAN card are as follows:
As mentioned above, the PAN is a combination of 10 characters. This combination can be explained as follows:
In spite of these changes, the first avatar of the PAN card met with some difficulties, as mentioned below:
In 1995, under an amended section 139A of the Income Tax Act, the new series of PAN was rolled out by the Income Tax Department. The new PAN series facilitated the following points which were earlier not included in the old series of PAN:
Concepts Similar to PAN Card
The concept of PAN, or a unique number assigned to every tax paying entity, is not a new concept. In fact, there are a number of similar such utilities that are used for tax purposes.
TAN (Tax Deduction and Collection Account Number) - This is a unique 10-digit number that is issued to individuals and entities who have to collect or deduct tax on payments made as part of tax Deducted at Source (TDS) under the Income Tax Act. TAN has to be quoted when applying for TDS or Tax Collected at Source (TCS) challans made to disburse the refund as well as on certificates. Failure to quote the TAN would result in a fine of Rs. 10, 000.
TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number) - TIN number is a unique 11-digit number that is used to identify dealers who are registered under Value Added Tax. Allotted by individual states, it is compulsory for all manufacturers, traders and dealers to register for a TIN number. This number is to be quoted when generating invoices, orders or quotations by both the issuing as well as the receiving company. It is also used to identify assesses under the Income tax Act of 1961.
You can use your PAN for e-KYC. e-KYC is a major requirement which is asked for by most service providers and it offers a number of benefits. Some of the benefits of the PAN e-KYC can be summed up as follows:
However, it is mandatory to link your Aadhaar and your PAN for the purpose of e-KYC and verification which helps you avail the services and benefits from different service providers.
FAQ's on PAN Card
No, it is not possible to apply for PAN Card through a handwritten application. The application is only accepted in the format notified by the Central Board of Direct Taxes. The forms pertaining to the same are:
For Indian citizens, Form 49A
For foreign citizens, Form 49AA
It is mandated for all applicants to provide either their email ID or telephone number in the PAN application form, so that they can be contacted in the event of a discrepancy. It is also useful when the applicant receives the PAN through email.
If the landline number of the applicant is provided, the country code and STD code should be mentioned. If the mobile number is given, the country code should be stated.
If the email ID of the applicant is furnished, the PAN will be sent to him/her through email.
If your address is within India, then the PAN Card processing fee is Rs.110, i.e., Rs.93 (application fee) + 18% GST.
If your address is outside India, the PAN Card processing fee is Rs.1,020, i.e., Rs.93 (application fee) + Rs.771 (dispatch charges) + 18% GST.
The PAN Card application form, once duly filled in and self-attested, can be submitted along with all relevant documents to any one of the PAN Centres or TIN-FCs that are managed by NSDL e-Gov.
If you have submitted a PAN Card application online, you should take a printout of the application form, sign it and affix a recent photograph. Then you should send this form along with supporting documentation to the address below:
Income Tax PAN Services Unit
(Managed by NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited)
5th Floor, Mantri Sterling, Plot No. 341,
Survey No. 997/8, Model Colony,
Near Deep Bungalow Chowk,
Pune - 411 016
TAN or Tax Deduction and Collection Account Number is a 10 digit alpha numeric number required to be obtained by all persons who are responsible for deducting or collecting tax. Under Section 203A of the Income Tax Act, 1961, it is mandatory to quote Tax Deduction Account Number (TAN) allotted by the Income Tax Department (ITD) on all TDS returns.
Since last few years ITD has revised the structure of TAN. It is a unique 10 digit alphanumeric code. Accordingly, they have issued TAN in this new format to all existing TAN holders.
To facilitate deductors find their new TAN, ITD has now introduced a search facility in their website (www.incometaxindia.gov.in). Through this facility deductors can search on their name and old TAN to find the new TAN. Deductors are advised to find the new TAN from this site before it is incorporated in their e-TDS return file to avoid any inconvenience at the time of furnishing e-TDS return.
There are two types of TAN applications:
This application form should be used when the deductor has never applied for a TAN or does not have a TAN.
A deductor may either make an online application through this website or submit physical TAN Application to any TIN-Facilitation Center (TIN-FC) of NSDL.
Applicants should go through the instructions and guidelines provided in the application form before filling the form.
Where to get the Physical Application Forms
Applicants may obtain the application forms from TIN-FCs, any other vendors providing such forms or can freely download the same from this website.
These applications are digitised by NSDL and forwarded to ITD. ITD will issue the TAN which will be intimated to NSDL online. On the basis of this NSDL will issue the TAN letter to the applicant.
The applicants may track the status of their TAN application using 14 digit unique Acknowledgment Number after three days of application using the status track facility. Alternatively, applicant may call TIN Call Centre on 020 – 2721 8080 to enquire about the status of application. The status of the TAN application can also be tracked by sending an SMS - NSDLTAN to 57575.