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We tell you all you need to know about your PAN, or Permanent Account Number, and why it is so important.

PAN, or permanent account number, is a unique 10-digit alphanumeric identity, issued in the form of a laminated "PAN card", by the Indian Income Tax Department under the supervision of the Central Board for Direct Taxes (CBDT), to any "person" who applies for it or to whom the department allots the number without an application under the Indian Income Tax Act, 1961. It also serves as an identity proof. It is also issued to foreign nationals (such as investors) subject to a valid visa. PAN is mandatory for financial transactions such as receiving taxable salary or professional fees, sale or purchase of assets above specified limits, buy mutual funds and more and for filing income tax returns. The PAN number remains unaffected by change of address throughout India.


Here's how to get an instant PAN card using the facility:


1. Open the e-filing website https://www1.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/ of the Income Tax Department. Instant PAN through Aadhaar Card



2. Click on the tab 'Get New PAN'.

3. Enter your 12-digit Aadhaar number.

4. Submit the OTP generated on the Aadhaar registered mobile number.

5. A 15-digit acknowledgement number will be generated.

6. Enter the other details asked for in the user info.

7. Once allotted, you can download an e-PAN card from the portal.


The e-PAN is also sent to the applicant on her/his e-mail ID, if it is registered with Aadhaar. The digital PAN card will be generated free of cost.

In a statement, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday formally launched the facility for instant allotment of PAN (on near to real time basis).

"This facility is now available for those PAN applicants who possess a valid Aadhaar number and have a mobile number registered with Aadhaar. The allotment process is paperless and an electronic PAN (e-PAN) is issued to the applicants free of cost," the CBDT said.

The 'beta version' for instant allotment of PAN on a trial basis was started on February 12, 2020 on the e-filing website of the Income Tax Department. Since then, 6,77,680 instant PANs have been allotted with a turnaround time of about 10 minutes, till May 25, 2020.

As on May 25, 2020, a total of 50.52 crore PANs had been allotted to taxpayers, out of which around 49.39 crore were allotted to individuals and more than 32.17 crore linked with Aadhaar.

For generation of instant PAN, the applicant is required to access the e-filing website of the Income Tax Department, provide her/his valid Aadhaar number and then submit the OTP received on the Aadhaar registered mobile number.

On successful completion of the process, a 15-digit acknowledgment number is generated. If required, the applicant can check the status of the request anytime by providing her/his valid Aadhaar number and on successful allotment, can download the e-PAN.

The e-PAN is also sent to the applicant on her/his e-mail ID, if it is registered with Aadhaar, the CBDT said. "The launch of the Instant PAN facility is yet another step by the Income Tax Department towards Digital India, thereby creating further ease of compliance for the taxpayers," the CBDT added.


WHO MUST APPLY FOR PAN?

Anybody who earns a taxable income in India, including foreign nationals who pay taxes here.

Anybody who runs a business (be it retail, services or consultancy) that had total sales, turnover or gross receipt exceeding Rs 5 lakh in the previous financial year.

HOW TO APPLY?

Use 'Form 49A' or 'Form 49AA' to be filled by foreign citizens. Find more details at https://www1.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/

You will need copies of proof of Identity , colored photography and address.

Pan allotment based on Aadhar is free of cost.

pan pdf will be generated and issued to applicant.

This is easy and paperless process.

Get pan within 10 minutes.

Holds same value as Physical pan card.

Pan card allocated date can be checked from official website of UTI.

Track the status of your application online.

The PAN' structure is as follows: Fourth character [P — Individual or Person ] Example: AAAPZ1234C

The first five characters are letters (in uppercase by default), followed by four numerals, and the last (tenth) character is a letter.

The first three characters of the code are three letters forming a sequence of alphabets letters from AAA to ZZZ

The fourth character identifies the type of holder of the card. Each holder type is uniquely defined by a letter from the list below:

A — Association of persons (AOP)

B — Body of individuals (BOI)

C — Company

E – LLP (limited liability partnership)

F — Firm

G — Government

H — HUF [Hindu joint family|Hindu undivided family]

L — Local authority

J — Artificial juridical person

P — Individual or Person

T — Trust (AOP)

The fifth character of the PAN is the first character of either:

The surname or last name of the person, in the case of a "personal" PAN card, where the fourth character is "P" or the name of the entity, trust, society, or organization in the case of a company/HUF/firm/AOP/trust/BOI/local authority/artificial judicial person/government, where the fourth character is "C", "H", "F", "A", "T", "B", "L", "J", "G".

The last (tenth) character is an alphabetic digit used as a check-sum to verify the validity of that current code.

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.

WHY GET A PAN NUMBER?

(a) Sale or purchase of immovable property valued at Rs 5 lakh or more

(b) Sale or purchase of a vehicle other than a two wheeler

(c) Payment to hotels or restaurants an amount exceeding Rs 25,000 at any one time

(d) Payment in cash an amount exceeding Rs 25,000 in connection with travel to any foreign country

(e) Payment of an amount of Rs 50,000 or more to the Reserve Bank of India for acquiring bonds

(f) Payment of an amount of Rs 50,000 or more to a company or an institution for acquiring bonds or debentures

(g) Payment of an amount of Rs 50,000 or more to a company for acquiring shares

(h) Any mutual fund purchase

(j) Deposit exceeding Rs 50,000 with any single banking institution in 24 hours.

(k) Payment exceeding Rs 5 lakh for purchase of bullion and jewellery.