Can an individual hold two PAN cards? What are the penalties?

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Permanent Account Number or more commonly referred as PAN No. is a alphanumeric number in 10-digits. PAN no. qualifies as a photo-identification card and is in fact mandated for every transaction with the Income Tax Department.

PAN No. is also required for opening accounts with bank, purchasing luxury items, foreign travel, dealing in securities and several other transactions of financial nature.

Can an individual hold two PAN cards? What are the penalties
The holding of over one PAN card by individuals is illegitimate and government requires such individuals/HUFs/non-individual assessees to surrender any duplicate PAN. In case, the assessees fail in this regard, government could send a legal notice and impose a penalty amounting to Rs. 10,000.

There are instances where an individual could unintentionally apply for new PAN card:

1. In case of change of address:

The change in address of the individual does not requires applying for a second PAN. In fact, PAN or permanent account number is a permanent identification number that is valid all across India. Only the change of correspondence address has to be intimated to the authority concerned. While, intimating the applicant needs to also furnish the proof of address.

2. In case of inadvertent issue of more than one PAN:

If an individual is inadvertently issued over one PAN card. One can visit, an income tax site, and furnish information regarding additional Permanent Account Numbers that are to be surrendered.

If an assessee wants to surrender additional PAN through offline mode, one can write an application bearing subject as ' change in PAN data' to the NSDL TIN facilitation centers or UTI PAN Centers. Details of additional PAN number have to be mentioned in the last row of the form.

The application for surrendering additional PAN could also be addressed to one's jurisdictional Assessing Officer. In the application you need to specify your name, contact details, PAN card details to be retained and details of the PAN card that has to be surrendered. The receipt or acknowledgment of the application should be retained as that serves as the proof of surrender of duplicate PAN.

Why you should surrender duplicate PAN Card?

It is important that you should surrender your duplicate PAN Card. In fact, the authorities have even asked individuals to hand-over their TAN as well.

One is that by surrendering, you do the authorities a favour. Let us given an example. Suppose that you have an interest income of Rs 4 lakhs. You can show them under two PANs and end up not paying any tax. This is incorrect and inappropriate. You must therefore surrender and cooperate with the authorities.

You would be doing yourself a big favour. Of course, if you have received the PAN Card unintentionally or by mistake, it is a different matter altogether.

Remember, not surrendering your PAN Card is a serious offense and can also lead to fines as applicable.

Story first published: Thursday, July 18, 2013, 10:59 [IST]
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