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Monday, June 24, 2013

What is a PAN number and how to apply for it?

The Definition: Permanent account number or we say ‘PAN’ is issued by the Income Tax Department of India. It contains a ten digit alphanumeric number which is unique to every PAN card holder. It is a sort of reference number which allows the Income Tax Department to track all your financial transactions and accordingly decide the tax for you.

Can a NRI get PAN?
Anyone is eligible to apply for a PAN card. There is no restriction based on age, nationality or location. Even under aged minors and newborns can have PANs.
PAN is issued to individuals, HUF (Hindu Undivided Family), company, including non resident Indians living overseas like a NRI, PIO, foreign national and OCI. Your PAN is permanent. Meaning, you are given that number for life. Even if you lose your PAN card, you do not lose your PAN number. It is not easy to generate multiple PAN numbers of lost PAN cards.
If you have forgotten your PAN number, you just contact your nearest Income Tax Department. You provide your other identification details, and the income tax will surely assist you in determining your PAN. Another way is to verify your PAN online by simply visiting any pan card website or an agent site. 

Why the PAN is always permanent?
Even if you change your name, address, locality or bodily features, your PAN remains the same. It is unaffected by any of these changes. 

How does it track everything?
Each and every financial transaction undertaken by banks goes through the PAN. This helps the Income Tax Department to keep a watch on sudden changes in the income of any given person. The PAN was created to thwart the parking of unaccounted money in bank accounts. It has helped the Income Tax achieve this to some extent.

The New Phonetic PAN (PPAN)
The New Phonetic PAN prevents multiple allotments of PANs to assesses with same names. If duplicate PAN is detected, a warning is generated. The user of this PAN is alerted. Subsequently and automatically, a duplicate PPAN is generated by the system.
Again this depends on the discretion of the assessing officer. If the assessing officer considers the alert to be non-recognizable, then this warning becomes void. The new PPAN system allows more than fifteen crore tax payers to have unique PANs.
It is interesting how technology has aided the evolution of the PAN. Without the use of technology, it would be impossible to keep a track of so many PANs and manage them efficiently.

What does the IT (Income Tax) department do with it?
The PAN helps the IT department link all transactions with a person. The PAN serves as a mechanism to document all transactions of a person. The IT department ensures through the PAN that everyone is paying their taxes.
You may visit the website of the Income Tax of India Department for further details. To be on the safer side of the Income Tax laws in India it is ideal to have a PAN as the initial step.

How to apply for a PAN card?
For a new application, you need to visit: This site not only enables you gather all the necessary information but also let you apply online. There are easy to navigate menu items that allow you to apply online. After applying for a PAN card, you can track your application at two sites. The UTI and NSDL Pan site. 
If you are not comfortable applying online, you can apply in person. Visit the nearest TIN-PAN centers, NSDL TIN Facilitation or UTI PAN Application Centers to do this.
You need to provide some documents to apply for a PAN. They are ration card, bank statement, 10th marks card, voter’s ID to name a few. In case you lost your PAN, you can apply for a reprint. Visit the NSDL site ( and apply for a reprint. 

The process of getting a PAN is very easy. As a responsible citizen of the country, you are obliged to create a PAN for yourself.

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