Permanent Account Number or PAN, as it is commonly called, is a means of identifying various taxpayers in the
country. PAN is a unique identification number assigned to Indians, mostly to those who pay tax. The PAN system of
identification is a computer-based system that assigns a unique identification number to every Indian tax paying entity.
Through this method, all tax related information for a person is recorded against a single PAN number which acts as the
primary key for storage of information. This is shared across the country and hence no two people on tax paying entities
can have the same PAN.
The idea behind PAN is similar to the Social Security Number or SSN used in the United States. SSN in the US is a unique nine-digit number issued to all citizens of the US, permanent and temporary both. Although the primary aim for SSN creation was to track individuals for social security purposes, it has now become a primary identification number for taxation processes.
Any PAN issued is valid for the entire lifetime of the PAN holder. This is so majorly because PAN is unaffected by any change of address of the PAN cardholder.
PAN Card Application
As mentioned in the section above, PAN Card Application can be made either online at the NSDL website or by applying at any of the district level PAN agencies. Applications for new PAN allotment as well as those for correction or change of information can all be made by customers. Form 49A is the form that needs to be filled and submitted for application of new PAN.
Additionally, there are ways to obtain a duplicate PAN card in situations where an entity loses or misplaces the PAN card. Indians, foreigners, and NRIs all can obtain PAN, although the forms and procedure may vary for each of these entities.
Application forms for new PAN and reprint of PAN are different. Once, a user makes any of the above applications with regards to PAN, he/she can track the status of PAN application via the acknowledgment number furnished by NSDL.
A PAN card can be applied for through the NSDL (National Securities Depository Limited) as well as through the UTIISL (UTI Infrastructure Technology and Services Limited). Applicants can submit their PAN card applications either offline or online.
Since PAN card contains information like Name, Age and photograph, it can be used throughout the country as a valid identity proof
PAN is the best possible way to keep track of your tax payment. Otherwise, you might be required to pay it multiples times since your tax payment cannot be verified
Since PAN is unique for every entity and hence, misuse of the same is almost impossible for purposes of tax evasion etc.
PAN card can be used as a document that is required to avail connections like electricity, telephone, LPG and internet.
PAN is a unique identification number assigned to taxpayers and hence it is used to track all financial information like payment of taxes, investments made and debt liability of an entity, to a single customer.