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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Permanent Account Number Card (PAN Card)

A Permanent Account Number Card or a PAN Card is perhaps one of the most important card/document that one needs today for various financial or economic transactions. But many people wonder what is a PAN card.

Permanent Account Number Card or PAN Card as its widely known refers to a ten-digit alphanumeric number, issued in the form of a laminated card, by the Income Tax (I-T) Department in India. It has been made compulsory since 2005, to have a PAN number for all those who file their income tax returns. As per the I-T Department, we have to quote the PAN on return of income as also on all correspondence with any income tax authority in the country.

Moreover, it is now compulsory to quote PAN in all documents pertaining to financial transactions as notified from time to time by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). Some of these financial transactions include sale and purchase of immovable property or motor vehicle, or paying the hotels and restaurants in cash whose amount exceeds a certain limit, or in connection with travel to any foreign country. In fact we have to also mention PAN for obtaining a telephone or cellular telephone connection!

Likewise, PAN has to be mentioned for making a time deposit exceeding Rs.50, 000/- with a Bank or Post Office or for depositing cash of Rs.50, 000/- or more in a Bank.

The following points need to be kept in mind if you possess or want a PAN:
  • It is statutory responsibility of a person receiving document relating to economic or financial transactions notified by the CBDT to ensure that PAN has been duly quoted in the document.
  • Obtaining or possessing more than one PAN is against the law.
  • It is compulsory to quote PAN on return of income
  • All existing assesses or taxpayers or persons who are required to furnish a return of income, even on behalf of others, must obtain PAN
  • Any person, who intends to enter into financial transaction where quoting PAN is mandatory, must also obtain PAN.
  • The Assessing Officer may allot PAN to any person either on his own or on a specific request from such person.

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