PAN, or Permanent Account Number, is a unique 10-digit alphanumeric identity for Indian taxpayers. While applying for a PAN card is optional, it is mandatory to quote your PAN number for certain financial transactions, such as payments over INR 50,000.
It is also compulsory for individuals to have a PAN card if they receive a taxable salary or professional fees or invest in mutual funds.
Overall, the key objective of the PAN card system is to act as a universal identification key for tracking financial transactions and preventing tax evasion, particularly by high net worth individuals.
Who Can Apply for a New PAN Card?
Anybody who earns a taxable income in India, including children and foreign nationals who pay taxes in India, must apply for a PAN card with the Income Tax Department of India. Besides salaried individuals, those running a business or freelancing and earning over INR 5 lakhs in a financial year should also apply for a PAN card.
Even if your income isn’t taxable, having a PAN card is helpful when you’re opening a new bank account, investing in mutual funds, or purchasing foreign currency to travel abroad.
How to Apply for a PAN Card
The Government of India has simplified the PAN card application process. Applicants can apply for a PAN card through both online and offline methods.
For offline applications, you’re required to fill up and submit Form 49A for Indian citizens from either of these sites and send the duly filled and signed form to the concerned authority for it to get processed.
The Charges for Processing Your PAN Application
According to the Income Tax Department, the charges for applying for PAN are INR 93 (Excluding Goods and Services tax) for an Indian address and INR 864 (Excluding Goods and Services tax) for a foreign address. Applicants may choose from bank cards, demand drafts and net banking to pay the fees.
Online Pan Card Application Process
1. Visit the NSDL website to apply for a PAN card online. You can fill up all the requisite information on this site and upload the required documents to get your PAN card in a few simple steps.
2. Since you are applying for a new PAN card, click on the “Apply Online” option on the top left of the page to proceed ahead.
3. Once you click on the Application Type, you will see a drop-down with three options:
- New PAN – Indian Citizen
- New PAN – Foreign Citizen
- Changes or Correction on Existing PAN/Re-print of PAN card
4. Once you choose the required option, you will need to select the category. Assuming you choose New PAN – Indian Citizen, you will see a category list with options like an individual, firm, an associate of persons, Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), Trust, Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), local authority, etc.
5. Once you select your category, you will be required to fill in your personal information in the following sections:
- Last name
- First name
- Middle name
- Date of Birth
- Email ID
- Phone number
6. After filling in the required information, you will be asked to re-type a captcha code before clicking on “Submit” to send your data for processing.
7. On hitting “Submit”, the website will provide you with an acknowledgement containing a token number, and you must print this page and save it for future reference. Here, you must click on the "Continue with PAN Application Form" button.
8. You will now be redirected to fill in your personal details. Once you include the necessary information, select how you would like to submit the documents. You have the following options available:
- Forward the application physically
- Submit using digital signature
- Submit via e-sign
You will have to choose between a physical PAN card and a digital PAN card. Select the documents you are going to submit as proofs for identity, address, and date of birth. Now confirm the declaration, place and date of application, review your form and proceed to the payment section after submitting your form.
9. You can choose to pay via Demand Draft or Online Payment through Bill Desk. If you select the former, you must have your demand draft ready while making the application. Online payment may be made using bank cards or net banking.
10. Click "I agree to the terms of service" and proceed to make the payment. The fee is different for online and offline applications. If you're paying online, you will receive a payment receipt that you must print and save.
11. After payment, you may choose to send the documents physically or authenticate your application with Aadhaar Authentication using the “Authenticate” option. Once you choose this option, click on "Continue with e-KYC" to receive an OTP on your mobile number linked to your Aadhaar.
12. Enter the OTP to submit your form. Now click on "Continue with e-Sign" followed by entering your Aadhaar number to receive another OTP. Once you enter this OTP, you will receive an Acknowledgement slip that can be opened with your DOB as the password in DDMMYY format.
Offline PAN Card Application Process
Here are the steps to follow to apply for a PAN card through offline methods:
1. Visit the official website of the Income Tax Department of India to download Form 49A.
2. Fill up all the sections in the form carefully with accurate information.
3. After filling up the form, it must be posted along with:
- Two photographs
- A copy of your ID proof
- A copy of your address proof
- A demand draft for the applicable fee in favour of ‘NSDL – PAN’ payable at Mumbai
4. Send the PAN card application to the following address:
INCOME TAX PAN SERVICES UNIT (Managed by NSDL e-Governance, Infrastructure Limited), 5th Floor, Mantri Sterling, Plot No. 341, Survey No. 997/8, Model Colony, Near Deep Bungalow Chowk, Pune - 411 016.
What Are the Documents Required to Apply for a New PAN Card?
To apply for a PAN card, you need a photo ID proof to verify your identity, date of birth and address. The following documents should be adequate to apply for a new PAN:
- Your Aadhaar Card
- Valid passport or an acknowledgement letter if the passport hasn’t been received yet
- Recent passport size photographs
What to Do If You’ve Lost Your PAN Card?
If you’ve lost your PAN card, don’t fret. Besides reporting the loss, you can swiftly reprint a duplicate PAN card from the TIN-NSDL website. Follow the steps outlined below to reprint your PAN card online:
1. Visit the NSDL website.
2. Click on the “Apply Now” option to get a drop-down menu, wherein you must select the option of “Reprint of PAN card”.
3. Fill in the mandatory information as required and hit “Submit”. You will receive a token number on the next page that will also be sent to your email id provided on the previous page. Save this token number for future reference and click on the “Continue with PAN Application Form” button at the bottom of the page.
4. Type out your personal details and select the mode of submission for your PAN application form. You may choose to:
- Forward the application documents physically to the PAN services unit of NSDL via registered post.
- Submit your application online using the e-sign and e-KYC facility. For availing of this option, you need to have an Aadhaar card, and the details should match your PAN card information. You don’t need to submit any scanned images or documents in this method.
- The third method is the e-sign method, wherein you need an Aadhaar and also upload scanned copies of photographs, signature and other documents. An OTP will authenticate this application form.
Next, you can choose between a physical PAN card or an e-PAN card, which requires a valid email id. Check your email for a token number and make a note of it for future reference.
5. Fill in the contact and document details on the next page, complete the declaration and click on “Submit” to reach the payment page. You will receive a 15-digit acknowledgement number once you make the payment that can be used to track your PAN application.
Can You Make Changes to Existing PAN Data?
Yes, if there’s an error in your PAN card or you need to make some changes, you may follow the same procedure mentioned in the above section. Just choose the application type as: “Changes or correction in existing PAN data/ Reprint of PAN card (No changes in existing PAN data)”.
If your PAN card is lost or stolen, you should go with the option of reprinting your PAN card without changing any information.
What You Should Remember While Applying for a PAN Card
- Make sure that the details provided by you match with the information on your identity proofs.
- Ensure that you provide a valid address, phone number and email ID in your application.
- You’re not allowed to hold two PAN cards. You may only apply for a duplicate card if your original card has been stolen or misplaced.
- If you’re applying offline, fill Form 49A in block letters only and don’t forget to attach your photograph before posting. Your signature or thumbprint must go across the picture attached to the form. If you’re putting a thumb impression, it must be attested by a Magistrate or a Gazetted Officer.
- For online applications, all the attached files must be in JPEG format and within the recommended size.
Frequently Asked Questions Related to Online PAN Applications
1. How long is a PAN valid after I apply for a PAN card online?
Once you apply for a PAN card online and it is allotted to you, the PAN number will remain valid forever.
2. Can I hold more than one PAN card?
No, it is a punishable offence under the Income Tax Act, 1961, to hold more than one PAN card. Not obeying this rule can invite a penalty of INR 10,000.
3. What should I do if my PAN card is lost?
If you’ve lost or PAN card due to theft, immediately file an FIR at the nearest police station. You will have to send a copy of the FIR along with your duplicate PAN card application online or offline.
4. How long does it take to receive a duplicate PAN card after an online PAN application?
Your duplicate PAN card will be dispatched within two weeks of the department receiving the application.
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