It is simple to apply for a PAN card and you can choose to do so online or by physically submitting it at a PAN centre.

What is a PAN card?

PAN stands for Permanent Account Number (PAN) and is a ten digit alphanumeric (containing both letters and numbers) that is issued by the Income Tax Department. It is laminated on a plastic card which is why it is commonly referred to as a PAN card. PAN enables the IT department to link all the transactions of the assessee including tax payments, TDS/TCS credits, returns of income, and correspondence.

Why do I need to apply for a PAN card?

There are several benefits to having a PAN card. They include the following:

1. It is compulsory for all transactions with the income tax department to have the PAN card details.

2. It is necessary for opening bank accounts

3. Required for applying for credit (loans etc.)

4. Required for making high value purchases, and conducting transactions in immovable properties among others

5. Required when applying for a home loan

6. Required for medical insurance

7. It is useful as a government recognized form of photo ID

How do I apply for a PAN card?

You can apply for a PAN card by submitting the relevant form with the requisite documentation (including ID and address proof, proof of date of birth, and 2 photos) and fees at the PAN application centre of UTIITSL or NSDL.  

You can also make an online application by submitting Form 49A either through the portal of NSDL ( https://tin.tin.nsdl.com/pan/index.html) or portal of UTITSL ( http://www.myutiitsl.com/PANONLINE/).

The charges for applying for PAN online have been increased with effect from June 2015 to Rs. 107 (including service tax) for an Indian address and Rs. 989 (including service tax) for an overseas address. The application fee can be paid through credit/debit card, demand draft or net-banking. Once the application and payment is accepted, you need to send the supporting documents through courier/post to NSDL/UTITSL. Only after the receipt of the documents, will your PAN application be processed by NSDL/UTITSL.

Changes or corrections to PAN card

You can apply online for changes or corrections to data on your PAN card and can also request reprint of an existing PAN card. The procedure is the same as applying for a new PAN.

Minors can also apply for a PAN card. However, there is no photo on a minor’s PAN as their physical appearance can change.

Only 1 PAN is allotted per person. It is illegal to hold more than 1 PAN number and you can be fined for holding more than one.