Do you remember the last time you went to open an account with the bank?  Did the bank ask you for your PAN or Permanent Account Number? What is this PAN?

 

Well, the Permanent Account Number (PAN) is a unique ten-digit alphanumerical characters. You can refer it to as a tax payer’s identification number.

 

This Permanent Account Number is important because it has to be quoted while paying direct taxes, filing income tax returns and communicating with the income tax department. In addition, quoting of the PAN has also been made mandatory for a number of financial transactions.

How to Apply?

The application for the Permanent Account Number or PAN as it is more popularly know as can be made either by manually filling the application form or through the online mode. Under the online mode the application can be made either through the NSDL (National Securities Depository Limited) or through the UTIISL (UTI Infrastructure Technology and Services Limited).

The PAN card is issued in the form of a laminated card. It contains details such as the card holder’s –

  • Permanent Account Number
  • Name
  • Father’s name
  • Date of birth / Date of Incorporation
  • Signature
  • Photograph
  • Quick Response (QR) code.

What do the characters in the PAN describe?

 

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd characters of the PAN contains alphabets running from the series AAA to ZZZ.
The 4th character of the PAN contains an alphabet which describes the status of the PAN card holder.
P – Person (Individual)
C – Company
F – Firm
H – HUF (Hindu Undivided Family)
A – Association of Persons (AOP)
T – AOP (Trust)
B – Body of Individuals (BOI)
L – Local Authority
J – Artificial Juridical Person
G – Government

The 5th character will also depend on the status and name of the PAN card holder-
If the card holder’s status is described as that of a person than the 5th character will be the first letter of that particular card holder’s surname/last name.
In all other cases the fifth character will be the first alphabet of the entities name.
The 6th to 9th characters contains numbers starting from series 0001 to 9999.
The last character is an alphabetic check digit.

 

Over the years the importance of the PAN has increased so much that even the non tax payers have been compelled to obtain a PAN.

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