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What is PAN?

PAN stands for Permanent Account Number. It is a ten-digit alphanumeric number, issued in the form of a laminated tamper proof card, by the Income Tax Department of India.
PAN is unique to an individual or entity and it is valid across India. PAN Card has details like your PAN, name, date of birth and photograph. PAN once allotted to an individual or entity is valid for lifetime.

Decoding PAN

A typical Permanent Account Number would look like CFZPP7167R.The logic behind the array of numbers and alphabets is as follows:
First three characters i.e. "CFZ" in the above PAN are alphabetic series running from AAA to ZZZ. Fourth character i.e. "P" in the above PAN represents the status of the PAN holder. Each holder type is uniquely defined by a letter from the list below:
  • "P" stands for Individual.
  • "F" stands for Firm.
  • "C" stands for Company.
  • “G” stands for Government.
  • "H" stands for HUF.
  • “L” stands for Local Authority.
  • “J” stands for Artificial juridical person.
  • "A" stands for AOP.
  • “B” stands for Body of individuals(BOI)
  • “E” stands for LLP
  • "T" stands for TRUST etc.
Fifth character i.e. "P" in the above PAN represents first character of the PAN holder's last name/surname.
Next four characters i.e. "7167" in the above PAN are sequential number running from 0001 to 9999.
Last character i.e. "R" in the above PAN is an alphabetic check digit.
When it is mandatory to obtain a PAN?
  1. Any person whose total income exceeds the maximum amount not chargeable to tax.
  2. Individuals carrying on any business or profession whose total sales, turnover, or gross receipts are or is likely to exceed Rs 5,00,000 in any financial year.
  3. For obtaining Import Export code by Importer/Exporter.
  4. For obtaining Import Export code by Importer/Exporter.
  5. Individuals who are entitled to receive any sum or income after deduction of tax at source.
  6. Individuals who intend to do specified financial transactions where PAN is compulsorily required.
This rule do not apply to Central Government, State Governments and the Consular Offices.

Penalty in case of having multiple PANs

As per Section 139A of Income Tax Act, 1961 a person can hold only one PAN. Fine of Rs 10,000 can be imposed for holding more than one PAN.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q- Is it necessary to fill the PAN application form i.e. Form 49A/49AA in block letters?

  • A- Yes, Form 49A/49AA (as the case may by) should be filled legibly in BLOCK LETTERS and preferably in black ink. It should also be noted that, each box, wherever provided, should contain only one character (alphabet /number / punctuation sign) leaving a blank box after each word.​
  • Q- Should married female provide father’s name?

  • ​​A- While providing the full name, applicant should provide father’s name and hence, married female should provide father’s name and not husband’s name. ​
  • Q- Is it mandatory to file Income Tax Return after getting PAN?

  • ​​​​​​A- ​Return is to be filed only if you are liable to file return of income under section 139. For details on Income Tax return,
  • Q- I have lost my PAN card. Can I get duplicate of it?

  • A- Yes, you can get duplicate copy of your PAN by applying to Income Tax Department. We shall assist you in getting this done.
  • Q- How much time does it take to get new PAN card?

  • A- After making application in form 49/49A, usually it takes 7-10 working days to get PAN dispatched to your address.