The Permanent Account Number (PAN) is the unique identification number assigned by the IT Department to the individual tax accounts held by the government for every taxpayer in the country. The PAN possesses all the tax-related information of the taxpayer in one place and, since the PAN card links every individual taxpayer’s financial transactions to them individually, it permits the Income Tax Department to maintain detailed records for every taxpayer, serving to reduce instances of tax fraud and default, and thus serves to reduce instances of tax evasion extensively.
Not only is the PAN needed to file IT returns, but it also serves several other purposes, such as being needed to open a bank account, being essential when applying for a debit or credit card, when applying for a loan, when opening a fixed deposit, and also for insurance payments. It can be used as a proof of identity and is mandatory in order to initiate a foreign currency exchange. Also, it is to be remembered that a copy of the PAN card is now a mandatory submission to be made when one is buying or selling vehicles, property, and even when purchasing large quantities of gold.
To obtain a PAN card, one needs to submit an application to their nearest Tax Information Network facilitation centre (TIN-FC) or the nearest branch of the National Securities Depository Ltd. (NSDL) from their PAN Department. The NSDL also accepts PAN card applications online.
There is an exhaustive list of documents required to obtain a PAN Card, to be submitted along with the PAN Card application form, whether Form 49A (for Indian persons or entities) or Form 49AA (for foreign persons or entities). The requirement for documents depends largely on the applicants themselves.
Identity Proof which can be a copy of any one among the following:
An address proof which can be a copy of any one of the following:
Date of birth proof which can be a copy of any one of the following:
Visit nsdl website and fill in the details asked for below, enter the captcha code, and click on “submit.” Remember to make a note the token number that is then generated, and proceed with the PAN application.
You should then be directed to a page outlining the three options you could use to submit the various proof documents mentioned above. You could submit them digitally using e-KYC and e-sign, submit scanned images via e-sign, or you can hand over the documents physically at your nearest branch (or send them in by registered post).
You will then be directed to a page where you need to fill in the details such as your sources of income and your address and other contact information.
The next step is then so your Assessing Officer can be assigned and your tax jurisdiction can be understood. You can obtain all this information from the NSDL website by clicking the “AO Code Search for PAN” link. Then click on “next” to go to the document details & declaration section.
And lastly, you will need to provide information about all the documents you have submitted as your various proofs. You will also need to upload your photograph and signature. Do all this and click on “Submit.”
After submitting the application and making the payment, you will get an OTP on your mobile number linked to your Aadhaar number. Upon entering the OTP, you will receive a 15-digit acknowledgment number and a receipt, which you will need to print out. Sign this receipt and courier it to the NSDL office within 15 days from the application date. Remember to write/print on the envelope in block letters “APPLICATION FOR PAN-N-(15-digit acknowledgement number).”
You will be able to track the status of your PAN card application online on the NSDL by using your name and date of birth as entered in the form or through the 15-digit acknowledgement number.
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