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What is a Permanent Account Number (PAN), who needs it and how to get it

This article explains the PAN number in detail, and explains how to get a PAN card. It also talks about who needs it – resident Indians, NRIs, etc.

PAN, or Permanent Account Number, is a dreaded thing, like anything associated with Income Tax (IT)! But it is not something to worry about – it is simply a number that the income tax department uses to track your income tax returns and your various investments & expenses.

Here are more details.


What is Permanent Account Number, or a “PAN Number”?

Permanent Account Number or PAN is a 10-digit alphanumeric number that is issued by the department of Income Tax.

You get it in the form of a credit-card sized laminated card, known as the “PAN Card”.

You can have only one Permanent Account Number.


What information does a PAN card contain?

A PAN card has:

  • Your name
  • Your father’s name (even in case of married women)
  • Your date of birth
  • The Permanent Account Number
  • Your signature
  • Your photograph


Permanent Account Number (PAN) Card

Permanent Account Number (PAN) Card


Why do you need PAN?

PAN is a vital number used by the department of Income Tax to track all financial information related to you.

The Permanent Account Number is mandatory for:

  • Your income tax returns
  • Any correspondence with the IT department
  • All challans (self assessment tax, advance tax, etc)
  • Opening a depository account
  • Buying or selling a property
  • Purchase of a car
  • Large cash transactions (more than50,000)
  • Getting a landline or mobile phone connection
  • Many more things!

As you can see, you need a PAN for many things that affect your life!


Do you need a PAN?

If you are an income tax assessee, and have to file income tax returns, then you need to have a Permanent Account Number.

Even if you do not file income tax returns but are entering any transaction where quoting the PAN is compulsory (as listed in above examples), you need a PAN.


How can you obtain a PAN?

The department of Income Tax has authorized UTI Investor Services Ltd (UTIISL) and National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) to issue PAN numbers and cards on its behalf.


PAN application through a physical form

Application for a new PAN has to be made using form 49A – “Application Form 49A – Application for Allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN)“.

You can download the free PAN application form here:

– {filelink=61} PAN Card Application Form 49A – NSDL (File size: 128 KB)

– {filelink=62} PAN Card Application Form 49A – UTI ISL (File size: Large file – 5.2MB)


Online PAN application

Application for a new PAN can be made through Internet. Requests for changes or corrections to your PAN card can also be made through Internet.

You can do it at:

NSDL’s site

UTIISL’s site

Please note that PAN applications made online get a priority. Where the application is made on the internet and paid for by credit cards, PAN is issued sooner than physical applications.

Thus, apply for a PAN online if you want it faster.


Charges for getting a PAN

UTIISL and NSDL would charge85 + service tax for issuing you the PAN card. This charge includes processing of your application and the cost of the PAN card.


PAN and non Resident Indians (NRI)

Do NRIs need a PAN? Yes, the requirement is the same as that for resident Indians – if you are an NRI and enter into a transaction where quoting of the PAN is mandatory, you need a PAN. You also need a PAN for filing income tax returns in India.

For more information, please read “Permanent Account Number (PAN) for an NRI and a PIO


Some Useful Links

Know your PAN if you have forgotten it

Track status of your PAN application:



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