Permanent Account Number (PAN) is a 10-digit alphanumeric number, issued in the form of a laminated card, by the Income-Tax (I-T) department. WHY It is mandatory to quote the PAN on return of income and all correspondence with any I-T authority. From 1 January 2005, it has been made mandatory to quote the PAN on challans for any payments due to the I-T department.
It is also compulsory to quote the PAN in all documents pertaining to financial transactions notified from time to time by the Central Board of Direct Taxes. Some such transactions are sale and purchase of immovable property or motor vehicle or payments in cash, of amounts exceeding Rs25,000, to hotels and restaurants or in connection with travel to any foreign country. It is also mandatory to mention the PAN for obtaining a telephone or cellular telephone connection. Likewise, the PAN has to be mentioned for making a time deposit exceeding Rs50,000 with a bank or post office, or depositing cash of Rs50,000 or more in a bank.
• All existing assessees or taxpayers or persons who are required to furnish a return of income, even on behalf of others, must obtain a PAN.
• Any person who intends to enter into a financial transaction where quoting the PAN is mandatory, must also obtain a PAN.
• The assessing officer may allot a PAN to any person either on his own or on a specific request from such person.
HOW • If you have been putting off getting a PAN because of the hassles involved, there’s help at hand. You can apply for a PAN card online through http://www.utitsl.co.in/pan/ of UTI or https://tin.tin.nsdl.com/pan/index.html run by National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL).
• All you need to do is fill the required details in Form 49A and pay Rs67 (processing fees: Rs60; service tax: Rs7 at 12.24%) through credit card or a cheque to the NSDL office in Mumbai (I Floor, Times Tower, Kamla Mills Complex, SB Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai—400013).
• However, you can’t apply online through NSDL if you don’t have a passport. In that case, you need to apply through a UTI website or in person, with documents such as bank account papers and high-school mark-sheets serving as identity and address proofs. On an average, it takes 15-20 working days to get a PAN card.
• And if you are too busy to even apply online, there is a booming middleman industry to see you through. The agents do everything, right from getting a form to submitting it for you. Several financial consultants and personal finance portals offer this facility at a fee ranging from Rs70 to Rs300.
• The I-T department has also authorized UTI Investor Services (UTIISL) to set up and manage I-T PAN service centres in all cities or towns where there is an I-T office. NSDL has also been authorized to offer PAN services from their Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) facilitation centres.
• Location of I-T PAN service centres or TIN facilitation centres in any city may be obtained from I-T department websites (www.incometaxindia.gov.in or www.utiisl.co.in) and NSDL (http://tin.nsdl.com).
Credit: Teena Jain