Pan Card: What is a Pan Card, the significance of PAN and how to apply for it online

PAN card

PAN is a Permanent Account Number with a unique 10 letter Alphanumeric characters identification ID, issued by the Indian Tax Department in a card format known as the PAN card. The major key function of a PAN card is to identify transactions of various individuals also by reducing the number who people who avoid paying taxes. Due to multiple tax evasion in India, PAN card came in as a savior to solve this problem that also work as an identification for the individual within the Indian border. It is not necessary to be in physical format as it can also be obtained from the official website of the Indian Tax Department in the form of a PDF known as e-PAN.

Unique Identification of PAN

AS told earlier the PAN holds a unique 10 letter Alphanumeric characters identification ID which allows to understand the type of the holder of the PAN card. The first 5 letters are always in uppercase by default followed by 4 numeric and a last being the alphabetic letter. The first 3 letters in the PAN range from AAA to ZZZ while only the 4th letter changes on the basis of the type of holder.

Below is the type of holder for each different letter in the PAN

  • T- Trust
  • P- Person
  • L- Local Authority
  • J- Artificial Juridical Person
  • H- HUF (Hindu Undivided Family)
  • F- Firm
  • C- Company
  • G- Government
  • B-BOI also referred to Body of Individuals
  • A- AOP also referred to association of person

Regarding the last letter of the unique identification number on the PAN is an alphabetic digit that helps to verify the validity of the code with the help of a formula.

Significance of PAN

The main purpose of a PAN is to help identity all the financial transactions of individuals that are resident of the Indian soil, this in turn help prevent tax evasion. Tax evasion is the process of not paying tax to the government for the development of the economy by methods of showing low income, profits or gains, incorrect tax reporting which often is the result of bribes given to high officials to get the work done of the common middle class individuals.

In 2023, the government of India concluded to use PAN as a common identifier for all individuals and business organizations in the Indian economy. The PAN is now supposed to be linked to the Aadhar card which is mandatory for everyone as the PAN would or else become inoperative. On January 2016, it was mentioned that the PAN card has to be furnished during transactions that include :

  • purchase or sale of immovable properties the exceed the monetary value of RS 10 lakhs
  • purchase of a four-wheeler
  • fixed deposits with bank of more than Rs 50000 or Rs 5 lakhs in a year
  • life insurance premiums that exceed the value of RS 50000, any cash transactions exceeding the value of Rs 50000
  • purchase of foreign currencies valued at more than Rs 50000
  • Large sum payment in any restaurant or hotel exceeding Rs 50000
  • Cash purchase of bank drafts or pay orders exceeding the value of Rs 50000
  • Cash Deposit exceeding value of Rs 50000
  • Applying for credit card
  • Purchase of any bullion or gold jewelry worth more than the value of RS 2 lakhs
  • Purchases of shares in stock market in an unlisted company exceeding the value of Rs 1 lakhs.

PAN card becomes an essential tool in the fight against corruption and black money circulation within the country. It helps find the financial transaction, that include opening a bank account to conducting a high valued transaction. By using the unique identifier code the government is able to track the differences between income and expenditure of an individual that helps to cross-verify if the individuals financial activities are legit or not.

Further More, PAN card helps by creating an important database of individuals financials transaction that helps the government identity and capture potential tax evaders especially higher government officials and high net worth individuals. With the current usage of information technology it help remove black money from the financial system of the Indian economy with money laundering being one of the biggest crime the India is fighting against.

How to apply for a PAN card?

Wondering how to apply for a PAN card, don’t worry as it very simple and easy to follow. Just follow the steps as mentioned below:

  • Visit the official site of NSDL also known as National Securities Depository Limited by going to
  • Once reaching the main page, click on the PAN application form.
  • On the application page click on “Apply Online”
  • In the application type, if you had before than select Form 49AA, if it’s your first time applying for PAN as an Indian then fill out the Form 49A. There are other categories to be selected as well which include individual, trust, company, firm, local authority and more.
  • Enter the applicant’s basic details including forename, surname, DOB, email ID, address and others.
  • Re-check the details to make sure everything is in the right order.
  • Verify that you are not a robot and submit the form.
  • The page takes you to payment page where you can select the form of payment for the application fee of PAN card from either debit/credit, demand draft or net banking.
  • Upload essential documents to verify identity such as Aadhar card, voter ID, utility bills issued by the government, driving license, Ration card, Passport.
  • Once the upload of the documents is finished and the application fee is paid ,submit the online application for the PAN card.
  • Once submitted, you will receive a unique 15 digit code that will help you track the status of you PAN card application.
  • In later stages , the documents will received by the official authorities, and once they are verified by the National Securities Depository Limited it shall be processed and sent to your address of residence.

Note: you can always check the requirement of documents for PAN card application by visiting this Tax Information Network of Income Tax Department. The similar application be filled on the UTIITSL website by submitting a Form 49A, identification documents along with a payment for the application.

Note: The Pan card application fees costs Rs 110 if offline but incase if the Pan card has to be dispatched outside India the cost is Rs 910. Meanwhile, dispatch of Physical PAN card in India costs Rs 107 and dispatch of physical PAN card outside India costs RS 1017.

How to check status of PAN card?

In some cases when the PAN card does not arrive within 15 days after the submission of the application, individuals can track it through the unique 15 digit acknowledgment number.Here as the steps as below:

  • Visit the official website for the application status that is
  • Once reaching the webpage click on the option “Track your PAN/TAN Application status”
  • On the application type , select PAN
  • On reaching the next step, type the 15 digit acknowledgement code received when submitting the application for PAN card.
  • Verify that you are not a robot
  • Submit the tracking form
  • The page will show the current status of your PAN card which can be Under Process, Dispatched, PAN Allotted, etc
  • If it is dispatched you can check the dispatch date and courier details, incase you feel that something is wrong you can always call on NSDL helpline (020) 272 18080 or email them at or

How to download PAN in a PDF format or E-PAN?

The steps to download E-PAN online if easy , the steps are as follows:

  • Visit the official website of NSDL (National Securities Depository Limited)
  • Once on the main page of NSDL, select Get E-PAN card form
  • Select the PAN option to download the PAN card
  • Enter the basic personal details of yourself including Date of Birth, PAN card, Aadhar number and GSTIN if you have incase.
  • Check on the terms and conditions box
  • Verify that you are not a robot
  • Click submit, after which you will receive an OTP on the mobile number registered for your PAN card.
  • Verify the OTP, once verified, You can download the PAN card in the PDF format
  • You can also print out the PDF format of the PAN card if required

Identification documents required to Apply for PAN card

The following documents below can be used to help in identification of person, address and age of the applicant.

  • Aadhaar Card issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India
  • Elector’s photo identity card
  • Driving license
  • Passport
  • Ration car with photograph of applicant
  • Arm’s license
  • Photo identity card issued by Central or State government of India
  • Pensioner card having photograph of applicant
  • Central Government Health Scheme Card or Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme photo card
  • Bank certificate in Original on letter head from the branch
  • Certificate of identity in Original signed by a Member of Parliament or Member of Legislative assembly or Municipal Councilor

Documents that have to be submitted for different type of applicant who have office in India.

  • Company -Copy of certificate of registration issued by Registrar of Companies
  • Partnership Firm – Copy of certificate of registration issued by registrar of firms or Copy of Partnership deed.
  • Limited Liability Partnership – Copy of Certificate of Registration issued by the Registrar of LLPs
  • Association of Persons (Trust) – Copy of trust deed or copy of certificate of registration number issued by Charity Commissioner
  • Association of Person/Local authority/Judicial person – Copy of registration issued by charity commissioner or registrar of cooperative society or any other competent authority such as Central or State Government Department.

Is there a expiry date of PAN card?

Fortunately, there isn’t any expiry date for the PAN card and it remains forever with the individual, Incase there are any mistakes or updates an individual has to do of the PAN card. You may apply for a PAN card correction in the official website of NSDL or UTIITSL.

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