What Is a Pan Card?

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • A PAN Card is a unique identification number issued to individuals and entities in India who pay taxes.
  • It serves as a proof of identity and records important details such as name, birth date, and photograph.
  • PAN cards are available for different categories, including Indian individuals, foreign citizens, Indian companies, and foreign companies.
  • To apply for a PAN Card, individuals can follow a simple online or offline process, provide necessary documents, and pay the processing fee. PAN cards have various benefits, including facilitating financial transactions and tracking tax payments.

If you’re an Indian citizen and you pay taxes, you must have a PAN or permanent account number. One can also get a PAN Card when they get their PAN. But what exactly is a PAN card? If you want to learn more about this card and its benefits, this post will give you all the details you need.

PAN Card Overview

A PAN or Permanent Account Number is a number for identification given to all people in India who pay taxes. It is an electronic system that can record all the information for a company or individual against one PAN number. These numbers are unique – therefore, there cannot be two people using the same PAN to pay their taxes.

When someone receives their PAN number, the Income Tax Department also offers them a PAN Card. The PAN Card is a physical card that features your name, birth date, photograph, and your spouse’s or father’s name. If you need to prove your identity to the DoB, you can make copies of the card and submit them.

Since the card does not get affected by address changes, you will have it for a lifetime.

Types of PAN Cards

PAN cards are not only given to individuals who pay taxes. They are also offered to other entities. As such, PAN cards come in different types based on the category they are meant for:

  • PAN Card for Indian Individuals
  • PAN for Foreign Citizens
  • PAN Card for Indian Companies
  • PAN for Foreign Companies

The cards also look a bit different based on whether they’re for individuals or companies. Cards given to individuals will have the name, photograph, date of birth, authenticity hologram, date of issue of the number, QR code, permanent account number, signature, and the name of the father of the card’s owner.

Meanwhile, PAN Cards given to companies have the company’s name, PAN number, registration date, QR code, hologram, and the PAN’s issue date. There is no signature or photograph.

PAN Card Eligibility

Not all individuals are eligible for PAN cards. Therefore, you must determine whether you can get one or not.

Here are the taxpaying entities that must have a Permanent Account Number under the Income Tax Act’s 139A section:

  • Every type of association, charitable organization, and trust
  • Any exporter and importer who is liable to pay any type of duty charge or tax as per the Income Tax act or a prevalent law
  • Any individual who has a business or a professional practice where they earn an annual turnover of over Rs.5 lakh in any assessment year.
  • Any individual who has paid taxes or is liable to pay taxes to the Income Tax Department. It will be determined according to the tax slabs.
  • Every entity that pays taxes such as individuals, minors, partnerships, HUFs, companies, trusts, body of individuals, and others must have a Permanent Account Number.

How to Apply for a PAN Card

If you need a PAN card, then you should know how to apply for it. Fortunately, the process is simple and can be done online or offline.

To make your PAN online, you must do the following things:

  1. Go to the official PAN – NSDL/UTIITSL website.
  2. Fill the form 49A or 49AA for Indian/Foreigner with all your details.
  3. Submit all the necessary documents.
  4. Pay the processing fee.
  5. Your PAN will be sent within 15 days.

If you don’t want to apply online, you can also do it offline by going through the following steps:

  1. Go to the official TIN-Protean eGov Technologies Limited website. You can simply click https://www.tin-nsdl.com/.
  2. Look for the “Downloads” section on the main page, and from underneath, click on “PAN”.
  3. You will be sent to a new page. There, click on “Form 49A”.
  4. You will then see the application for Form 49A on your screen. It will be in a pdf format, so you can download it and print it.
  5. Fill out the form. Be careful to enter the right details and don’t make any mistakes.
  6. Attach all the required documents, including a passport size photograph.
  7. Next, you’ll have to pay the registration fee. This can be done using a demand draft in favor of “Protean eGov Technologies Limited -PAN” payable from Mumbai. The amount you must pay for it is Rs.115.90.
  8. Then, take all your document photocopies and your application form and enclose them in an envelope. On the envelope, mention “APPLICATION FOR PAN-N-Acknowledgment Number”.
  9. Send it to this address: Income Tax PAN Services Unit, Protean eGov Technologies Limited e-Governance Infrastructure Limited, 5th floor, Mantri Sterling, Plot No. 341, Survey No. 997/8, Model Colony, Near Deep Bungalow Chowk, Pune – 411016.

All you have to do next is wait for an application number, which can be used for tracking the PAN card application status.

Documents Required to Apply for a PAN Card

Several documents will be necessary when you apply for your PAN card. Here is what you should have ready:

For Non-Indian Citizens:

  • A copy of a PIO card or an OCI issued by the Government of India, a copy of your passport, and other proof of identity.
  • Proof of address such as an NRE Bank statement, registration certificate that the FRO issues, and others.

For Associations of Persons

  • A Registration Number Certificate or Agreement Copy given by the Registrar of Co-operative Society or Charity Commissioner, or a document given by the Central or State Government where your identity and address are specified.

For Trusts Registered or Formed in India

  • Copy of the Registration Certificate number that a Charity Commissioner issued

For Companies and Limited Liability Partnerships Formed or Registered in India

  • A copy of the Partnership Deed
  • A copy of the Registrar of Companies-issued Registration Certificate

For Firms Registered in India

  • A copy of the Registration Certificate that the Registrar of Companies issued

For People Belonging to a HUF

For Individual Applicants

  • Proof of address like a water bill, utility bill, passport, marriage certificate, etc.
  • Proof of identity like a Voter ID, Aadhaar, etc.

PAN Card Cost

A PAN card will cost Rs. 110 or RS. 1,020 if you want to ship from India to the U.S.

How Long Is a PAN Card Valid?

Your PAN Card will be available forever.

Benefits of a PAN Card

PAN cards have many benefits, such as:

General Benefits of a PAN Card

  • You’re able to use it as an identity proof
  • You’re able to use it to avail utility connections
  • It allows you to keep track of your tax payments
  • It prevents tax evasion and other similar things

Benefits in Financial Transactions

  • Mutual fund scheme purchases
  • Insurance policy purchases of Rs.50,000 or more
  • Payments of over Rs.50,000 for bank deposits
  • Purchase of shares worth Rs.50,000 or over Rs.50,000
  • Remitting money out of India

How to Track PAN Card Transactions

The Income Tax Business Application-Permanent Account Number of ITBAN-PAN is a program made by the government to track transactions through PAN cards to make tax calculations simpler. So, every transaction made where certain PAN numbers were quoted will be tracked.

The entire PAN information and database of the PAN information have been moved to the software, and all financial transactions can be traced using this software.

Tips for Applying for a PAN Card

  • Fill in your application form using capital letters
  • Don’t use the initials in the first or last name columns
  • Write the whole address and offer accurate contact details
  • Before you submit the form, get the thumb impression attested by a Magistrate/Notary
  • Don’t make any corrections or overwrite on the form

Read More

Final Thoughts

PAN cards are necessary for all Indian taxpayers, so make sure you keep yours safe. If it’s your first time applying for a card, follow the tips in this article to make the process smoother.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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