A PAN (Permanent Account Number) card is seen as an essential document nowadays. The document, issued by the Income tax Department under the Government of India, is an alphanumeric code and is issued to all individuals and entities that fall under the Income Tax Act of 1961. The PAN card serves to link all financial transactions made by an entity, thereby reducing the chance of tax evasion since every transaction is now linked and recorded.
Earlier, applying for a PAN card used to be a long and cumbersome process, with the applicant receiving the card after a long waiting period. The government has now introduced a fast track process through which applicants will receive their PAN cards within 48 hours of submitting their application.
In addition to being an important document for financial purposes such as opening a bank account, buying or a motor vehicle, filing of Income tax returns etc., it is also used as an identity document.
The PAN card is a photo ID issued by a government body and it serves as proof of identity anywhere within the country. The card is valid throughout the holder’s lifetime.
How to Apply for PAN in 48 Hours
On submission of the PAN Card application form, it would generally take between 15-20 working days for the PAN card to be issued. Now, however, applicant can receive their PAN card in 2 days. The process is outlined below:
- Visit the NSDL website and select the appropriate form from the options provided.
- Once you have read through the guidelines, select the type of form (with or without Digital Signature Certificate) and type of applicant from the drop down menu and proceed to fill in the details requested.
- Once you have filled in the details and uploaded the relevant documents, submit the form.
- You will receive an acknowledgement in the form of your application number, which you can use to track the status of your application.
- You will receive your PAN card through registered post once the details submitted by you have been verified and processed.
PAN Card Structure
A PAN card is made up of 10 alphanumeric characters, with the first 5 characters being alphabets, the next 4 being numbers and the last character being an alphabet.
- The first three character are a sequence of alphabets, which are generally a random sequence.
- The fourth character indicates the type of the applicant (such as a firm, individual, company, local authority, etc).
- The fifth character could be any of the following:
- The first character of the applicant’s name or surname if the applicant is an individual
- The first character of the company/firm/local authority etc name
- The last character is an alphabet.
Details Mentioned in PAN Card
- The PAN card being a photo identity document, it contains information relating to the entity it has been issued to, such as:
- The entity’s full name (in case of firms/companies/governments etc, the registered name of the body
- The date of birth (date of registration in case of companies/firms)
- The PAN number
- In addition to this, the PAN card also mentions the date on which it was issued, if the card was issued by the NSDL.
How to Get a PAN Card
A PAN card will be issued by the Income Tax Department of India provided the applicant submits certain documents that serve to verify his/her identity as well as additional information as required.
To make an application for issuance of a PAN card, the individual or entity has to submit a form to the Income Tax Department mentioning their particulars such as their name, address, age (or date of registration for firms/corporate bodies).
The applicant can apply for a PAN card either online or offline. Those wishing to apply online can visit the NSDL website and fill in the online application form and upload the documents as mentioned in the form.
Applicants who wish to submit the form offline can do so by downloading the form from the NSDL website and submitting the filled-in form along with the supporting documents to the PAN Service centre nearest to your place of residence.
Can I take PAN Card personally from income tax office?
For those who have applied for a PAN card, the common question that comes to everyone’s mind is how will I receive the PAN card. Most people assume that the PAN card once issued will be available at the Income Tax office closest to them. This however is not true. Once the details submitted for the PAN are verified, the PAN card will be posted to the address of the applicant as stated in the application form. If by chance the PAN card applicant is not available on delivery, he/she can collect their PAN from the area post office. The PAN card will be granted to the PAN card applicant once he/she provides the KYC documents as proof of identity.
Once the details for the PAN have been submitted, the applicant can check the verification status by following the steps mentioned below.
- Log on NSDL financial service website.
- For replacement or reprint of PAN card, enter your existing PAN card number.
- For those applying for a PAN card for the first time, enter the application coupon code.
- Once the code or the PAN number has been entered, enter the captcha.
- Click on submit.
- The website will display the PAN verification status.
Applicants will have to check the verification status within 5 days of receiving the acknowledgement.