A Permanent Account Number (PAN) is allotted by the Income Tax Department of India to anyone who applies for it. It is a ten-digit alphanumeric combination of characters that is unique for every individual.
The PAN is mandatory for anyone who makes an income especially in the formal sector of employment, as this ID helps the tax department track and link all the monetary transactions related to that individual. Transactions include tax payments, TDS/TCS credits, returns of income/wealth/gift/FBT, specified transactions, correspondence among others.
Importance of PAN
PAN Card is a must for all the taxpayers in India as it comes in handy at the time of financial transactions and is used to track the inflow and outflow of the money. Apart from this holding, a PAN card plays an important role at the time of receiving tax refunds, to receive communication from the Income Tax Department or for paying income tax.
The Union Budget of 2019 has proposed the individuals who do not have a PAN card to use Aadhar number at the time of filing returns. However, one should note that the rules about it are still in the process of creation or approval or updation.
PAN acts as a document which is necessary for carrying out monetary transactions if it is equal to or more than Rs 50,000. It also acts as a proof of identity and is a lifetime document which remains intact irrespective of the change in the residential address of the holder.
New Design of PAN Card
The Income Tax Department which issues PAN card has prescribed a new format for PAN card with effect from January 1, 2017. The following are the changes made to the new PAN card:
- A Quick Response (QR) code has been printed in the new PAN card which will carry all the details of the cardholder. This QR code can be checked for verification of data.
- The location of the PAN and the signature of the PAN cardholder has been altered.
- New Sections for the name of the cardholder, date of birth and father's name of the cardholder have been added.
What do the characters in PAN stand for?
A typical PAN will look like "AFZPK7190K." According to the IT department website, the first three characters are alphabetic series running from AAA to ZZZ. The fourth character of PAN represents the status of the PAN holder. While "P" stands for Individual, "F" stands for Firm, "C" stands for Company, "H" stands for HUF, "A" stands for AOP, "T" stands for TRUST etc. The fifth character represents the first character of the PAN holder's last name/surname. The next four numeric characters sequential in order and run from 0001 to 9999. The last character in the PAN is an alphabetic check digit.
Whether you want to open a bank account or join formal employment, you are required to have a PAN. If you don't have one you can apply for one online and the laminated PAN card will be posted to you by the Income Tax Department.
Once you have applied for it, you can track the status of the PAN by:
- Telephone service: Call the TIN (Tax Information Network) call centre of the NSDL (National Securities Depository Limited) at 020-27218080 and they can help you track the status of your PAN with the help of the 15-digit acknowledgment number that you should received at the time of application.
- SMS: Send the acknowledgment number to '57575' to receive a text message in reply with the status of the PAN.
Tracking PAN Card Status Using Acknowledgement Number
- If you have the acknowledgement number of the application, you can track the PAN status on the NSDL's official website here.
- Choose 'PAN - New / Change Request' from the drop-down for 'Application Type.'
- Type acknowledgement number in the box provided and the verification code from the distorted text displayed. Once the details are entered, click 'Submit.'
Tracking PAN Card Status By Name And Date Of Birth
- You if have lost the acknowledgment number, you can find the PAN status by name and date of birth.
- Visit this official NSDL website link and choose 'PAN - New / Change Request' from the drop-down for 'Application Type.'
- Select the 'Name' option (by clicking inside the circle on the left) and enter your last name, first name and middle name (in that order) in the boxes provided.
- Select the date and month of your date of birth from the from the drop down option and type in the year of birth in the space provided.
- Once done, click on 'Submit.'
- You have to wait at least 24 hours after applying for PAN online in order to check the status.
- Only the NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited (NSDL e-Gov.) and UTI Infrastructure Technologies Services Limited are permitted by the Government of India to process PAN applications. NSDL e- Gov receives and processes PAN applications through TIN-Facilitation Centres / PAN Centres / Online requests. Details of the same are published in www.tin-nsdl.com. Do not use other website services to track status and give away your personal details.