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Sunday, January 9, 2011

What is a Pan Card and how to apply for it online in India?

Pan Number also known as a permanent account number, is an identity that shows you are a tax payer, and without it, you cannot buy anything in India. Any financial transaction will require you to produce the pan number to enable income tax authorities cross check your claims when you file them. It is a specific alphanumeric number that is unique to each PAN card holder and is issued by the income tax authorities under the direction of the Central Board of Direct Taxes or CBDT. You are identified on the basis of the unique PAN number.

Identity proof

Nowadays, an identity proof is very much required and the PAN card serves as an authentic piece of evidence that you are the person represented in the card. For any kind of financial transaction, the PAN card is vital. Even for opening a bank account, you need a PAN card as part of the proof of documentation. The major reason for making PAN card mandatory by Indian authorities was the need to check the flow of parallel or unaccounted money that was floating about in the Indian economy.

Earlier, it was common for many Indians to open bank accounts in two to three different names with equally different address proofs. They would transact large amounts and even transfer them from one account to another to evade taxes. It was becoming difficult for the income tax authorities to track unaccounted incomes of a large number of Indians. People were buying a house or selling and keeping the money in a bank located at some other city.

With the introduction of the PAN card, every financial transaction is under the scanner. Nobody can afford to conceal any income earned as a PAN card has become the first document to be produced even for getting a mobile phone connection. If you receive a salary, fees or buy or sell assets, you will have to quote the number in your PAN card. Any purchase above the limits fixed by the government will automatically make you liable for tax payment as you cannot conceal or pair down the transaction as was the practice earlier.

Unique 11 digit alphanumeric number

The PAN card has also come as a big boon for the income authorities as they can easily keep track of all transactions done by individuals with high net worth. The PAN card number is made up of five alphabet characters, followed by 4 numerical and the last character is another letter making it a unique 11 digit alphanumeric number. You have to quote the number for all financial transactions for easy identification by the income tax authorities.

The PAN number has also become a vital source for tracking criminals or terrorists who take safe haven in India. It is impossible to live and conduct financial transactions without a PAN number. For any change of address or occupation, you can approach the income tax authorities who will make the necessary changes and issue a fresh PAN card, which will of course have the same 11 digit alphanumeric number.

The PAN is like a social security number issued to all residents and citizens of the US. They can be easily identified on the basis of the social security number and for all financial transactions; they are required to quote the number.

The fourth character in the 11 digit number of the PAN will signify the type of assessed that could be a body of individuals, a person, a company, a firm, Hindu Undivided Family, local authority government, trust or an artificial juridical person. Once you are issued a PAN number, you can use it as a primary source of identification.

How to apply for a PAN number?

One can easily apply for a pan number online by visiting the govt sites like NSDL or UTI. NRI applicants living out of India having no Indian residence proof can also take assistance of some reputed pan agents.

1 comment:

  1. GOOD News for all Indians living ABROAD.!!

    NOW Non-resident Indians(NRIs), PIOs, OCIs and foreign companies can get PAN CARD in just 15 days at their foreign postal address.!!