Who should own a PAN?
A Permanent Account Number or PAN, as it is commonly known should be owned by every taxpayer in the country and anyone who wishes to do business in India. The government has made it mandatory for entities to quote PAN for a number of transactions and anyone indulging in these transactions should compulsorily have a PAN. A taxpayer or assessee can apply for a PAN on behalf of others, including minors.
Eligibility criteria and documents required for Indian Citizens
There are different eligibility criteria and documents required for Indian citizens who wish to own a PAN, depending on whether the PAN is required by an individual, firm, enterprise, association, etc. The basic criteria are mentioned below.
Individuals – The applicant should be a citizen of India with a valid address, date of birth and ID proof. This proof can be either a passport, driving license, Aadhar, Voter’s card, etc.
Hindu Undivided Families – The Karta (head) of a Hindu Undivided Family can apply for a PAN on behalf of the family by providing a valid ID, address proof and date of birth for all members of the family. The Karta is also expected to mention the father’s name in order to apply for a PAN.
Minors – A parent/guardian can apply for a PAN on behalf of a minor by providing a valid address proof and ID of the parent/guardian.
Indian citizens residing abroad – If the applicant is an Indian citizen who resides outside the country, he/she should provide a copy of his/her bank account statement in the present country of residence as address proof.
Mentally challenged individuals – There are cases where a mentally challenged individual might require a PAN and in this case a representative can apply on his/her behalf. The representative will have to provide details of such an applicant (ID proof, address proof and date of birth) plus his/her (representative’s) details.
Companies – Companies which need a PAN should be registered with the Registrar of Companies and should provide a copy of their registration certificate.
Partnership Firms/Limited Liability Partnerships – These entities should be registered with the relevant government authorities and should submit a copy of their registration certificate.
Trusts – Trusts which are registered can apply for a PAN by submitting a copy of their trust deed or registration certificate.
Associations/Local authorities – Registered associations or local authorities can apply for a PAN by submitting a copy of their agreement or registration certificate.
Artificial Juridical Person – Such entities can apply for a PAN by submitting proof of their identity and address, either in the form of government documents or registration certificates.
Entities with no office in India – Firms, companies, trusts, artificial juridical authorities, etc. with no office in India need to apply by submitting their ID proof and address. This proof can be either in the form of their registration certificate from the country in which they are located, attested by the Indian Embassy/Consulate of that country. In case this is not available they need to get a registration certificate in India or approval documents from relevant authorities.
Note: Indian applicants can apply for a PAN by using Form 49A.
Eligibility criteria and documents required for Foreign Citizens/Entities
Foreign citizens and organisations who are keen on setting up base in India need to satisfy a few basic eligibility criteria and submit the following documents in order to obtain a PAN.
Foreign citizen (Individual) – Individual foreign citizens who wish to apply for a PAN can do so by providing relevant ID and address proofs. This can be either their passport, PIO card, citizenship ID number, etc.
Companies – Foreign companies can apply for a PAN by furnishing a copy of their Registration Certificate from the country where an applicant is present. This should be attested by the Indian Embassy/Consulate/High Commission in that country. A copy of the registration certificate approved by Indian authorities in India will also suffice as proof for PAN.
Firms/Associations/Trusts – Such entities can apsply for a PAN if they are registered and have a registration certificate from the country where they are located. This registration certificate should be attested by the Indian Embassy or Consulate or High Commission in that country.
Note: Foreign entities can apply for a PAN by using Form 49AA, with the eligibility criteria and documents required staying the same regardless of whether a foreign applicant is located inside India or outside while applying for a PAN.