PAN card is a government-issued photo ID proof meant for identifying various tax paying entities of India. PAN stands for Permanent Account Number, which is a computer-generated unique identification number against which all tax-related information associated with a particular person is recorded. No two people can have the same PAN, and this number remains valid for one’s entire lifetime. It is not necessary to be a tax-payer in order to get a PAN card.
Why is PAN card important?
PAN card is essentially required for:
- Making payment of direct taxes
- For filing income tax returns
- For avoiding tax deduction at a rate higher than due
- It is also mandatory to have a PAN card if you wish to make any of these transactions-
- For selling or purchasing immovable property worth more than Rs 5 lakhs
- For selling or purchasing any vehicle except for two-wheelers
- For making payments of more than Rs 25,000 in one go at hotels and restaurants
- For making cash payments above Rs 25,000 while travelling overseas
- For paying an amount over Rs 50,000 to the RBI or any company/ institution for acquiring bonds, debentures or shares
- For purchasing any mutual fund
- For purchasing and paying for bullion or jewellery of more than Rs 5 lakhs
- For depositing an amount greater than or equal to Rs 50,000 with any banking institution within 24 hours.
Procedure to apply for a PAN card
One can apply for PAN either online or offline. In both the cases you need to fill Form 49 A. Foreign nationals paying tax in India would have to fill Form 49AA.
Steps to apply online-
- Go to the official website of TIN NSDL or UTIISL and click on the ‘New Pan’ option.
- Select Form 49A for Indian citizen or NRE/NRI/OCI individuals.
- Enter the required details like your full name, address, D.O.B, contact details, income details etc. on the online form.
- After filling the form and paying the processing fee, get a print out of the form.
- The print out must necessarily include signature space and 15 digit acknowledgement
- Paste passport sized photos on the acknowledgement and attach Demand draft if you are paying through DD.
- Don’t forget to attach identity proof and address proof documents, before you post all of it to the NSDL office within 15 days of submitting the online application.
Steps to apply offline
- Collect a copy of form 49A from UTIISL agents or take a print out from NSDL or UTIISL websites.
- Fill up the form mentioning all the essential details and then attach the necessary documents mentioned above.
- Pay the processing fee at the NSDL office and submit the form there itself.
For both online and offline applications, you can expect your PAN card to arrive at your address within 15 working days.
How to request for correction of details on the PAN card?
- The procedure to request for correction of details on the PAN card is similar to that of applying for a new one.
- Follow the steps mentioned above, and fill up the correct details along with the PAN number allotted to you.
- Post this form to the NSDL office along with the necessary documents in an envelope with “Application for PAN CHANGE REQUEST” written on it.
- The new PAN card with your correct details will be sent to the address you have mentioned in the form within 15 working days.