A Permanent Account Number or PAN is a 10-digit unique identification alphanumeric number to identify a taxpayer in India. All tax-related information of a person is regarded against this number which acts as a primary key to store the information. No two people can have the same number.
A PAN card, a physical card which contains the tax payers’ name, date of birthday, and photograph, is also allotted by the Income Tax Department whenever a PAN is issued. Your PAN Card is valid for lifetime because it is unaffected by any change in address.
Where to Apply for PAN Card?
There are two online platforms through which an individual can apply for a PAN in India: NDSL and UTIITSL. Both organisations have been entrusted by the Income Tax Department.
For a new PAN, Indian citizens and non-resident Indians need to fill Form 49A. Foreigners and foreign entities need to fill Form 49AA. Along with the required documents, individuals should submit the completely filled form to the Income Tax PAN Services Unit.
Once you apply for a new or duplicate PAN, or request for corrections/changes, you can track the status of your PAN application via the acknowledgement number provided.
As per the NSDL website, the entire process of printing and dispatching cards takes approximately two weeks.
PAN Card Application: Important Points
- Fill in all the details as per the identity and address proof documents you are submitting.
- Get your thumb impression attested by a Magistrate/Notary before submitting the form, to avoid disqualification.
- Write the complete address and provide accurate contact details in the form.
- Fill in the application form in capital letters.
- Don't make corrections or over-write anywhere on the form.
- Do not use initials in the first name or last name columns.
- Do not apply for a new PAN card if your old PAN card is lost/stolen/defaced. Request for a duplicate PAN instead.
Advantages of PAN Card
- A PAN card contains an individuals name, age and photograph thus can be used a valid identity proof throughout the country.
- A PAN simplified tracking your tax payments. If you do not have a PAN, you may be required to pay tax multiple times since the tax payment cannot be verified.
- A PAN is unique to every individual thus its misuse is almost impossible for the purposes of tax evasion or other means.
- A PAN card can be used to avail utilities like electricity, gas and internet connections to your residential address
What Happens If You Don't Have a PAN Card?
If you are earning an income in India and it falls under a taxable bracket, not having a PAN/PAN would have the following results:
- You will be charged a flat 30% tax on your earnings and wealth, as stated by the Income Tax Department. This rule applies to individuals, companies and all entities eligible for tax, including foreign nationals and firms registered outside India.
- You will be unable to purchase a motor vehicle, buy immovable worth over Rs 10 lakhs or open a bank account.
- If you own a business, you will be unable to conduct a large amount of financial activities and procurement for it.
The Cost of PAN Application
An individual can make an online application for his or her PAN card through the NSDL website or the UTITSL portal. The cost of application for PAN card is as follows:
- For Indian communication address: Rs 93 (excluding GST)
- For foreign communication address: Rs 864 (excluding GST)
PAN Application Form FAQ
Where do I get the PAN application form?
The PAN application form is available at any NSDL TIN Facilitation Centre (TIN-FC) or PAN Centre. You can also download the form from the official NSDL-TIN website: tin-nsdl.com/downloads/pan
How should I fill the PAN application form?
The application form should be filled in English. The applicant should use capital letters and black ink to fill the form.
Is it necessary to include father's name in the application form for a female who is married/widow/divorced?
All female applicants should include only their father's name in the PAN application form, irrespective of their marital status. The form does not need to be updated with the husband's name.
Should I mention my email ID or telephone number on the form?
All applicants are required to either provide their email ID or telephone number in the application so that they can be contacted for any updates to their application. The PAN can be also be sent through email if an email ID is provided.
Are there any charges that I would have to pay for the PAN Card application form?
No, the form is available free of charge.
How can I change the photograph on my PAN Card?
If the photo on your PAN Card is unclear, then you can get the PAN Card replaced with a photograph of better quality and clarity. This facility is available as part of 'Correction of PAN Card' requests. This request is similar to that for name change and change in date of birth. You can visit the website NSDL website and fill the 'PAN card change request form'. The relevant documents should be sent to the address mentioned in the form.
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