Everything you need to know about Pan Card, such as:

What is a Pan Card Who needs to apply for a Pan Card Is Pan card mandatory in India Is Pan card required by Non Residents Pan card for foreigners Pan card exemption for Non Residents (NRI’s)

Pan Card - What is a Pan Card of India?

PAN refers to a ten-digit alphanumeric number, issued by the Income Tax Department of India in the form of a laminated card; hence we refer to them as 'Pan Cards'. A Permanent Account Number (PAN) helps identify you, for tax purposes in India.

Is Pan Card Mandatory in India

While Pan card is not madatory in India, it is required for filling your income tax in India and also to conduct specified financial transactions such as financial investments and banking. As per section 139A of the Act obtaining PAN is a must for the following persons:- 1. Any person whose total income or the total income of any other person in respect of which he is assessable under the Act exceeds the maximum amount which is not chargeable to tax. 2. Any person who is carry on any business or profession whose total sales, turnover or gross receipts are or is likely to exceed Rs. 5 lacs in any previous year. 3. Any person who is required to furnish a return of income under section 139(4) of the Act.

Is Pan card required by Non Residents

While a PAN card may not be mandatory for persons of Indian origin residing abroad, there are some benefits of having a PAN. Especially for those NRIs who continue to have close ties with India, have bank accounts in India or own property in India.  Effective 1st January 2007, all Non-Resident Indians and Persons of Indian Origin, need a PAN card to invest in the Indian stock markets. (Foreign investors would also need a PAN). Persons of Indian Origin settled abroad, have no obligation to get a PAN, unless they have taxable income to declare in India or invest in the Indian stock market.

Pan Card for Foreigners

For those who are residing overseas, or now  hold foreign citizenship and do not have any reason to file taxes in India, they need not apply for a Pan card. However, even if you do not need a Pan card it may be beneficial to get one for some people. There are various benefits of having a Pan Card and some of these are listed below.

Benefits of having PAN Card

Pan card is an excellent form of acceptable Identity document throughout India. Pan cards have the holder's photo but not their address; hence PAN cards cannot be used as proof of address. In the absence of a PAN, banks actually deduct the maximum tax as TDS, from the interest earned on bank accounts. If you have a NRO account in India, then the tax deducted by your bank on the interest you receive (TDS) may be claimed as a refund depending on your income. However, to get a refund, you must file a tax return, which cannot be done unless you have a PAN. Thinking of buying a vehicle in India? You will need a Pan for registration of the vehicle. Also many other types of services in India may also require a PAN.

Myths about Pan Number

There may be some non-residents, who feel that the PAN is some sort of a scheme by the Indian government, to keep an eye on their citizens. This is just a myth. PAN is just an identification number, similar to a Social Security Number in the United States Social Insurance Number in Canada or National Insurance Number in UK

Continued on the next page:

How to apply for a Pan Card

Make corrections on Pan Card

Verify your Pan Card Information

Exemption from quoting PAN for NRIs


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pan card

Know Your Pan Card

What do the numbers on a Pan

Card mean?

While the numbers on PAN cards are generated to create a unique number, there are some characteristics associated with the PAN numbers that a person can identify, by simply looking at the card. Normally a PAN will show numbers and alphabets such as by way of  example:       ACZPK8170K In all Pan Cards, the fourth character of a PAN will be either the alphabet P, F, C, H, A or T.  Where: 'P' stands for Individual 'F' stands for Firm 'C' stands for Company 'H' stands for HUF (Hindu Undivided Family) 'A' stands for AOP (Association of persons) 'T' stands for Trust etc. The fifth character of PAN represents first character of the PAN holder's last name/surname.

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Replacing a lost Pan Card Benefits of having a Pan Card How to apply for a Pan Card How to verify your Pan Card Replacing a lost Pan Card
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For information on OCI India’s lifetime Visa Check OCI REGISTRATION
Difference between NRI and Resident PAN CARD The application forms for PAN Card is different for NRIs and Resident Indians. However the only difference is the documents required to be submitted. PAN Cards are the same and good for life. If you had a PAN Card before becoming a NRI, you can continue with your PAN Card you previously held in India. Individuals can have only ONE PAN CARD.
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