PAN (Permanent Account Number) is a 10-digit alphanumeric identity allotted by the Income Tax Department to all judicial entities identifiable under the Income Tax Act, 1961. It is unique to each individual and can be used by them as proof of identity. As per the law, one assessee is allowed to possess only one PAN Card; having more than one PAN Card in your name is illegal.
Yet, a number of individuals possess more than one PAN card without giving much attention to the consequences it may lead to. The Income Tax Department is authorised to take legal action or impose a financial penalty on the individuals/entities that possess more than one PAN.
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Reasons that might lead to multiple PANs
While some try to get multiple PANs to commit fraud, in the majority of the cases, multiple PAN allotments are done by mistake. There can be a number of circumstances under which an individual is allotted two PAN Cards, such as:
- Multiple Applications- When an applicant applies for a PAN Card and it doesn’t arrive within the scheduled time-period and then he/she applies for the PAN card again, a multiple application case occurs. Now if the previous PAN Card was created and dispatched and the new application is worked upon as a separate one, then the applicant may get two PANs in his/her name.
- New Application instead of Correction- When an applicant wants to make corrections in his/her PAN card but instead applies for a new one, then in such cases, he/she might obtain two PAN Cards allotted in his/her name.
- New Application Post Marriage- If a woman changes her surname after marriage, she may apply for a new PAN instead of requesting a correction in her existing PAN which again leads to double PAN against a single individual.
- NRI applicants: Non-Resident Indians when arriving in India to do business or perform a commercial transaction requiring PAN, they apply for a PAN card and complete their desired transaction. However, when they return back to the country after many years, they tend to apply for a new PAN altogether to re-conduct business in India, thus, creating multiple PANs against their name.
Whatever may be the reason, an individual (more accurately an entity) is not allowed to have more than one PAN. It is a punishable offence and can attract PAN penalty or legal action.
How possessing multiple PANs affect your credit profile?
Possessing multiple PANs has an adverse impact on your credit profile.
When you apply for a loan, a key credential which the bank verifies is your PAN card details. Any discrepancy in your PAN history will result in an outright disapproval of your application. Alongside your loan, your credit card application can also get rejected if you have two PANs.
Owning multiple PAN Cards is seen as a potential fraud and both the ability and intention of such an applicant to repay the loan is questioned by the banks. Most of the banks blacklist such applicants. Even if you have a good CIBIL score, such blacklisting will cause huge credit problems for you.
How to resolve Multiple PAN problem?
The only solution to resolving multiple/duplicate/extra PAN problem is to surrender your extra PAN Card/s at the Income Tax Department. There are two ways to surrender your PAN Card:
It is particularly easy to surrender your duplicate PAN Card/s online. Below is a step-wise process to do so:
- Visit the website of the NSDL at
- In the ‘Application Type’ tab, from the drop-down menu, choose, ‘Changes or Correction in existing PAN Data/Reprint of PAN Card (No changes in existing PAN Data)’
- Fill your Personal Details under the ‘Applicant Information’ tab. Submit the form by filling in the Captcha code.
- You will be redirected to a new page where a token no. will be generated and displayed for you. The NSDL e-gov will send this token no. to your email too. There will be a tab below prompting you to ‘Continue with PAN Application Form’. Click on this tab.
- A webpage will open up which will require you choosing options related to your submission of PAN application documents. Choose the second option amongst them, ‘Submit scanned images through e-sign’. Below you will have to fill in details of the PAN No. you want to retain. Fill out the mandatory personal details in the form and then click ‘Next’.
- Again fill the mandatory personal details such as ‘Address for Communication’ and then get to the ‘Mention other Permanent Account Numbers (PANs) if any, inadvertently allotted to you’ tab. Here fill in the details of the extra/duplicate PAN cards you have got and want cancelled/surrendered and then click ‘Next’.
- Finally, you will be asked to provide details of the documents you are enclosing to support your application. You will be asked to upload the scanned copies of your snap, sign and other docs. Then you will have to sign the Declaration on the form and then verify your info and submit it.
Please note that the PAN you put in for cancellation shouldn’t be the same you are retaining.
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You can also use the form available at the web-link here
Mention the details of the PAN card which is to be surrendered in this form and submit it at the nearest UTI or NSDL TIN facilitation Centre. Save a copy of the acknowledgement.
After submitting the form, write a letter to the Assessing Officer of the area where your Income Tax is filed. Write complete details about your original and duplicate PAN Cards in the letter. Be specific about which PAN card you want to retain and which PAN card you want to surrender. Post this letter to the tax office or handover the letter at the office directly. Also, enclose a copy of the PAN to be surrendered and the acknowledgement received when submitting the Correction Form with your letter.
PAN Cards should also be surrendered in the event of the death of the assessee. When a company closes operations, its PAN Card should be surrendered by visiting the NSDL TIN website/physical office.
So, in case you have more than one PAN, ensure you surrender one of them immediately before it leads you to financial and legal hassle.