Since its inception in 1961, the PAN card has become an important piece of document in India. Your PAN number is a ten character long alphanumeric code which is issued by the income tax department. The purpose of the PAN card is to track all your financial transactions easily.
That is the reason why you now have to quote your PAN number not only on your income tax returns but also on all financial transactions like buying and selling of property, shares and automobile, large cash transactions and even opening a savings deposit in the bank or the post office with substantial amount of money.
The initial application for PAN number is quite simple. There are two designated organizations which handle this procedure. These are the UTI Investor Services Ltd and the National Securities Depository ltd. The form for PAN is known as form 49A. You can download this form from the website of these two organizations.
Then you need to fill it up, supply the supporting documents and the money and your PAN card will reach you by two or three weeks. You can also apply the hard copy of the form from the many different IT PAN service centers, located all across the country.
What if your PAN card is lost?
If you lost your PAN card for any reason, it is imperative that you obtain a duplicate PAN card as soon as possible. Otherwise, all your financial transactions will be halted or needlessly delayed. You should know that you cannot even obtain a new land-line telephone number without your PAN number.
Whenever we visualize trying to get any official paper from the government, the specter of the beurocratic red tape rears its ugly head. However, things have progressed rapidly in India in the cyber age. It has now become very easy and convenient to obtain a duplicate PAN card if you lose your card.
The procedure is as follows:
· You need to go to the website of either of the two designated bodies which handle all issues relating to PAN cards. These are the UTIISL and the NSDL or you can simply take help of an authorized PAN broker/agency like: www.PanCardNri.com.
· You will get an option on their webpage where you have to choose between applying for a new PAN card or for a duplicate PAN card. You have to choose the latter.
· You will have to fill up the same form (49A) for the application of a duplicate PAN card as you had to do for the original. So, supply the same information.
· You will have to supply your PAN number if you are requesting for a duplicate. It is not at all difficult to obtain this number as it is quoted in all your financial transactions. So, you can find your PAN number from your income tax returns, the covering letter of the original PAN card or your demat accounts and many others. However, if you cannot get your PAN number from any of these sources, you can look up the link http://pancardfornris.blogspot.in/2012/04/know-your-pan.html.
· Submit all the relevant information along with a processing fee of Rs. 94.00 and your duplicate PAN card will be delivered to you within a week or ten days.
Few points to remember
· Lodge a FIR with your police station if you lose your PAN card and get a copy. You may need it for future reference.
· If you are NRI, you can also apply for duplicate PAN online by the process mentioned above. You will be charged Rs. 964.00 and will need to pay be credit card.
· Your PAN card will be delivered to your address in the foreign country (hence the extra charge) within a fortnight.