PAN (PERMANENT ACCOUNT NUMBER)
Permanent Account Number (PAN) is a code that acts as an identification for Indian nationals, especially those who pay Income Tax. It is a unique, 10-character alpha-numeric identifier, issued to all judicial entities identifiable under the Indian Income Tax Act, 1961. An example number would be in the form of ARLPA0061H. It is issued by the Indian Income Tax Department under the supervision of the Central Board for Direct Taxes (CBDT) and it also serves as an important proof of identification.
It is also issued to foreign nationals (such as investors) subject to a valid visa and hence, it is not acceptable as a proof of Indian citizenship.
The PAN is mandatory for a majority of financial transactions such as opening a bank account, receiving taxable salary or professional fees, sale or purchase of assets above specified limits etc.; especially high-value transactions.
The primary purpose of the PAN is to bring a universal identification to all financial transactions and to prevent tax evasion by keeping track of monetary transactions, especially those of high-net-worth individuals who can impact the economy.
The PAN is unique to each individual and is valid for the lifetime of the holder, throughout India. An important point to note would be that once issued, the PAN is not affected by a change of address
Structure and provisions
Income Tax PAN card is issued under Section 139A of the Income Tax Act.
The PAN structure is as follows: AAAPL1234C: First five characters are letters, next four numerals, last character letter.
The first three letters are sequence of alphabets from AAA to ZZZ
The fourth character informs about the type of holder of the card. Each holder is uniquely defined as below:
A — Association of Persons (AOP)
B — Body of Individuals (BOI)
C — Company
F — Firm
G — Government
H — HUF (Hindu Undivided Family)
L — Local Authority
J — Artificial Juridical Person
P — Individual
T — Trust(AOP)
K — Krish (Trust Krish)
The fifth character of the PAN is the first character
(a) of the surname or last name of the person, in the case of a “Personal” PAN card, where the fourth character is “P” or
(b) of the name of the Entity, Trust, society, or organisation in the case of Company/ HUF/ Firm/ AOP/ BOI/ Local Authority/ Artificial Judicial Person/ Govt, where the fourth character is “C”,”H”,”F”,”A”,”T”,”B”,”L”,”J”,”G”.
The last character is an alphabetic check digit.
In recent times, the DOI (date of issue) of the PAN card is mentioned at the right (vertical) hand side of the photo on the PAN card if issued by NSDL and will not be mentioned if issued by UTI-TSL.
The central government has introduced a new online service called “Know Your PAN”to verify or validate new and existing PAN numbers.
Failure to comply with the provisions of Section 139A of Income Tax Act, penalty of ₹10,000/- for each default is payable u/s.272B to the Assessing Officer.
Use of PAN
Quoting the PAN is mandatory when filing Income Tax returns, tax deduction at source, or any other communication with Income Tax Department. PAN is also steadily becoming a mandatory document for opening a new bank account, a new landline telephone connection / a mobile phone connection, purchase of foreign currency, bank deposits above 50,000, purchase and sale of immovable properties, vehicles etc.
Obtaining PAN is optional and voluntary like passport, driving license, Aadhaar etc. However, its use is mandatory at required places, like PAN for high-value financial transactions, Driving License for motor driving, passport for foreign travel etc..
One can apply for PAN by submitting the prescribed PAN application to the authorized PAN agency of the district or through online submission to NSDL Website, UTI along with 2 recent passport size color photographs, proof of ID, Address and Date of Birth and fee. In case of Re-print (re-issue), a photocopy of the old PAN is also required. It takes about 10–15 days to receive the card.
User with Aadhaar Card can also submit e-KYC.