Applying for a PAN is completely voluntary as much as it is voluntary to apply for a passport or driver’s license. But then if you want to travel outside the country or drive on Indian roads then those documents are mandatory. Similarly without a PAN filing your income tax returns will be impossible and if you are doing any high value financial transaction, you will need one. In case you don’t have one its best you apply immediately.If you are confused on how to do it, PAN card service centers can reliably do this for you at a nominal charge
This is a Permanent Account Number that is unique for each individual. This has become mandatory for all large value financial transactions and is one way the government ensures that everything can be tracked. It is an identity proof and is governed by the Indian Income Tax Act of 1961.
This number is an alphanumeric number and there is a lot of information that can be understood from it. The first 5 characters are letters, the next 4 are numbers and the last letter is again a letter. So what do these characters stand for? Here is an insight -
The first 3 letters are alphabets that are randomly generated
The 4th letter character tells what type of card holder you are and uses letters A to K. Some examples are:
3. H-Hindu Undivided Family
4. L-Local Authority
The 5th character is the first letter of your surname for individuals. Else if you are a company or entity, it is the first letter of your concern.
The last letter in your alphanumeric PAN number is just a alphabetic check used to make it unique.
These are the individuals who can apply for an Indian PAN Card
1. Any Indian Resident of India
2. Any Indian Citizen who resides or works outside India
3. Any NRI who holds a citizenship of another country but wants to invest in India
4. An Foreign national who is residing and earning in India
5. Even Minors who are citizens of India can apply for a PAN
Every foreign citizen who runs a business in India, earns in India or wants to invest in India will need to apply for a PAN card. The procedure for application is almost the same as for an Indian citizen but there are vital differences and these are
1. Foreign nationals need to make a PAN application choosing Form 49AA
2. The documents you need will be different, you will need to attach copy of your passport
3. Copy of bank account statement in country of residence
4. Copy of certificate of residence in India
5. Copy of Visa granted and copy of appointment letter or contract from Indian Company and Certificate (in Original) of Indian Address issued by the employer.
If payment is online you should preferably use Indian debit or credit cards. If you need more guidance or help to do this, Indian PAN Service Agencies can help you through the procedure.