Full Form of PAN Card:
Permanent Account Number
PAN Card Full Form is Permanent Account Number. PAN is a ten-digit code which is uniquely generated for each citizen of India. It acts as an important proof of Identity for all Indians, specifically for those who pay Income Tax. The PAN is a peculiar code that comprises of 10 character identifier that is alphanumeric in nature. The Code has issued those judicial entities identified under Income Tax Act 1961.
The Indian Income Tax Department issues the PAN card under the aegis of the Central Board for Direct taxes (abbreviated as CBDT). PAN card is an essential proof of identification. The issuance of PAN card is made to foreign nationals, for example, investors, but the issuance is subject to visa regulations and therefore, does not act as a proof of Indian citizenship for such nationals.
Importance of PAN
PAN card is extremely important as it is mandatory for the purposes of financial transactions, for example, bank account opening, receipt of professional fees or taxable salary, and purchase of assets, etc particularly high-value transactions.
The primary objective behind the PAN card is to bring about universal identification in respect of financial transactions and ensure prevention of tax evasion by keeping a check on financial transactions, particularly of those who have high net worth and impose great influence on the economy of India.
The reason why PAN is an important document is because it is needed to carry out almost all the major financial transactions, whether it is opening a new bank account or buying and selling of business goods. It prevents any tax evasions since it is important for all the high-value transactions, whether it be the transfer of monthly salary or profits from a personal business.
Now that we have explored some basic information about PAN, it is important to discuss specifically some important facts about the same because it is one of the strongest proofs of identification in the country. So, here are five points about PAN, which every Indian must know about.
Structure and related provisions
The following points must be noted down:
- The relevant provision in this respect is Section 139A of Income Tax Act 1961. Failure to adhere to the mandate of the provision shall invite penalty.
- The structure of a typical PAN comprises five characters, in the beginning, followed by four numerals, then followed by last character letter.
- The first three characters or letters in the PAN form a sequence of alphabets.
- The fourth character in the PAN provides information relating to the category of PAN holder. The characters indicate the following: A indicates Association of Persons (abbreviated as AOP); B indicates Body of Individuals (abbreviated as BOI); C indicates company; F indicates Firm; G indicates Government; H indicates Hindu Undivided Family (abbreviated as HUF); L indicates Local authority; J indicates an Artificial Juridical Person; etc.
- The 5th character in a PAN is actually the first character, which includes either the last name of the holder or the name of the Trust, Entity, Society, etc.
- The last character placed in a PAN is a check alphabetic digit.
- Recently, the Union Government has launched an online service known as “Know Your PAN” for the purposes of verification or validation of existing or new PAN numbers.
Appearance of a typical PAN card
A typical PAN card comes in a standard plastic card that has a picture of the face of the PAN holder, date of issue, date of birth, and a hologram sticker. The hologram sticker acts as a security feature. The address of the holder is not mentioned on the PAN card. When a PAN card is issued for a minor (the issuance of which is done through UTI-ITSL), the card does not have the photograph or date of issue on it. Prior to the year 2001, the PAN cards that were issued were black and white. Those cards have poor picture quality and were printed on a laminated paper. Therefore, a modern day PAN card is much more convenient and possesses high quality.
Prescribed applications for PAN
It is to be noted that there are two categories of PAN applications:
- Application relating to the allotment of PAN: This category of application form is for those who have never filed an application for a PAN card or do not have any PAN card in its name. To check whether a PAN card has been allotted, the applicant can check the official website of Income Tax department, which is www. Incometaxindia.gov.in wherein the status of the application can be checked. There are two types of forms under this, namely: Form 49A, which is for Indian citizens, living in and outside India, and Form 49AA, which is for foreign nationals.
- Application for amendments to an existing PAN or issuance of a new PAN: There are prescribed forms in this respect that are to be filled where the applicant seeks a fresh PAN or wishes for some variations on his or her existing PAN.
It must be noted that Rule 114 (4) of the Income Tax Rules 1962 provides for the documents that must be furnished for the purposes of address or date of birth or identity verification. There is an online application facility available for the purposes of obtaining a PAN. The following steps should be observed while applying for a PAN online:
- Access websites of UTIITSL or NSDL e-Gov.
- Submit necessary details online on the forum.
- After having inputted details, make necessary payment of the prescribed fee.
- On successful submission and payment, a receipt is produced.
- Get the printout of the receipt and paste recent pictures on it and sign on the space that is provided on that receipt.
- After that, the applicant must forward the same to UTIITSL or NDSL e-Gov along with necessary documents mentioned above.
- Keep a track on the status of your application on the aforementioned website.
Operative models of PAN
The whole framework relating to the issue of PAN and its verification, maintenance and delivery functions on Public Private Partnership (abbreviated as PPP) model such as that of Passport Seva Kendra (abbreviated as PSK) for the purposes of effectiveness, efficiency and economy.
NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Ltd, which was previously known as National Securities Depositories Ltd), along with UTI Infrastructure Technology Services Ltd (abbreviated as UTIITSL) is responsible for the management of processing of PAN application, collection, handling and verification of documents such as identity proofs, seeking clarification from applicants, printing of the PAN card and other related services.
Many people have criticized this model on the ground that handling over of such essential functions to private bodies would amount to an infraction of privacy but the settled opinion is that there is no such issue of violation. It is to be noted that applicants must seek services only from those PAN centers that have been duly authorized by UTIITSL or NSDL e-Gov, which are guided by the Income Tax Department itself.
PAN Card Concerns
There are some concerns in respect of PAN. As of the year 2014, there has been the issuance of 170 million PAN cards but only 30 million of them are tax payers. Although PAN is a unique identification number, fraudsters nevertheless obtain them in a deceitful manner. It is not legal to possess multiple PAN cards and if one so possesses will have to furnish penalty under the Act. There have been instances where illegal migrants have managed to obtain PAN cards and this has created a lot of worry among lawmakers.
How to get a PAN Card?
PAN is issued by the Income Tax Department of India. Like applying for the passport is a voluntary action, similarly getting a PAN is voluntary too. To obtain it, one needs to fill a form which is available online, send the needed documents to the office of NSDL with an identity proof and recent photograph. It takes a maximum of one month for the Unique PAN number to be generated and mailed to your address. It is to be noted that the PAN is unique to the holder and its validity lasts for lifetime across the country. Once you get a PAN, it is going to be valid till you live. Irrespective of whether you change your address and workplace, the PAN remains the same.
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