Who am I
I am a 10-digit alphanumeric number issued in the form of a laminated card by the income-tax department. I am an important document and you need to keep me handy for most transactions.
Why am I important
According to income-tax department’s website, you need to quote me compulsorily for the following transactions.
•Sale or purchase of any immovable property worth at least Rs5 lakh or purchase of certain vehicles which are not two-wheelers
• A time deposit with a banking company or a deposit in a post office savings account, exceeding Rs50,000
• A contract of a value exceeding Rs1 lakh for sale or purchase of securities
• While opening a bank account, applying for a credit card or making an application for installation of a telephone connection (including a cellular connection)
•Payment to hotels and restaurants against their bills or payment in cash in connection with travel to any foreign country for an one-time amount exceeding Rs25,000
• Payment in cash for purchase of bank drafts or pay orders or bankers’ cheques for an amount aggregating at least Rs50,000 in a single day
• Deposit in cash aggregating at least Rs50,000 with a bank in a single day
• Buying mutual funds units, shares, debentures or bonds from the issuer amounting to at least Rs50,000
Who needs me
I am not restricted to people who are above the age of 18 or citizens of India. Every individual who has a source of income and files income-tax returns or intends to enter financial transactions in India requires me. So a foreign national living and working in India and earning a taxable income needs to acquire me. Similarly, a child artist whose annual income is taxable also needs a PAN.
If you do not furnish me, then tax is deducted at a much higher rate. For instance, if the annual interest you earn on your bank fixed deposits is at least Rs10,000, then banks deduct tax at source before crediting the interest to your account. Tax will be charged at 10% if you produce me but flat 20% or higher if you do not give me.
You can acquire me only once and I will remain the same throughout your life, irrespective of whether you change jobs or cities. If, however, you lose the card, you will be issued a new card but the number will remain the same.
How to obtain me
Submit a duly filled form 49A along with your photograph and the accepted identity and address proof and application fees at the designated local UTI and National Securities Depository Ltd offices. It can also be submitted online. The PAN card reaches your doorstep in 15 days and the number is available online on the income-tax website in just a few days.