PAN Card: Who needs it and Application Process

By Hiral Vakil on March 7, 2019

Income Tax Department issues Permanent Account Number (PAN) an alphanumeric ID in a form of card to any “person” who applies for it or to whom the department allows the number without an application.

PAN enables the department to link all transactions of the “person” with the department. These transactions include tax payments, TDS/TCS credits, returns of income/wealth/gift/FBT, specified transactions, correspondence, and so on. PAN, thus, acts as an identifier for the “person” with the tax department.

E-pan is an initiative taken by the Income Tax Department to ease the process of PAN allotment. An applicant requires to have a valid Aadhaar number to get an e-Pan. It is important to have PAN for vaious purposes such as filing an ITR, opening a bank account, to make financial transactions and so on.

Who needs PAN?

  • Starting from 1st January 2016, PAN is compulsory to open Bank Accounts.
  • it is compulsory for every transaction with the Income Tax Department.
  • It is also mandatory for numerous other financial transactions such as availing of institutional financial credits, purchase of high-end consumer items, foreign travel, a transaction of immovable properties, dealing in securities, etc.
  • PAN Card is a valuable means of photo identification accepted by all Government and Non-Government institutions in the country.
New PAN Application for Residents View Plan

Understand PAN Number

  • A typical example of a PAN is: ABCPS1234A 
    PAN Number Structure
  • The first five characters are letters, the next four numerals, and the last character is a letter.
  • Out of the first five characters, the first three characters represent the alphabetic series running from AAA to ZZZ. (eg. ALWPG5809L)
  • The fourth character represents the status of the PAN holder. (eg. ALWPG5809L). Each holder is uniquely defined as:
    • A — Association of Persons (AOP)
    • B — Body of Individuals (BOI)
    • C — Company
    • F — Firm
    • G — Government
    • H — HUF (Hindu Undivided Family)
    • L — Local Authority J — Artificial Judicial Person
    • P — Individual
    • T — AOP (Trust)
  • The fifth character represents the first character of the PAN holder’s last name/surname in the case of an individual. In the case of non-individual PAN holders, the fifth character represents the first character of the PAN holder’s name (E.g. ALWPG5809L).
  • The next four characters are sequential numbers running from 0001 to 9999 (E.g. ALWPG5809L).
  • The last character, i.e., the tenth character is an alphabetic check digit (E.g. ALWPG5809L).

The combination of all the above items give PAN it’s unique identity.

How to apply for PAN?

One can apply for PAN in two ways:

1) Submission of physical application at PAN application center of UTIITSL or NSDL,

2) Online application on the website of UTIITSL or NSDL.

If you wish to physically submit the application, then you have to:

  • Download the FORM-49A.
  • Go through the Instructions before filling in FORM-49A.
  • Attach the supporting documents (list given below).
  • Submit the duly filled form along with the supporting documents and prescribed application fees at the PAN application center.
  • Upon submission, an applicant will receive an acknowledgment in the form of a unique number on acceptance of the application form. This number can be used for tracking the status of the application.

If you wish to apply for the PAN online:

  • Visit NSDL or UTIITSL website.
  • Fill in the online application form (follow these instructions while filling).
  • Make online payment for the application fees using Credit Card/ Debit Card or Net banking facility only.
  • Upon successful online payment of fees and submission of application, the applicant will receive an acknowledgment containing a unique number on acceptance of the application form. This acknowledgment number can be used for tracking the status of the application by using the track status facility available at the above web sites.
  • Sign this acknowledgment, affix the photograph and send it to the NSDL/UTIITSL PAN services unit along with the supporting documents.


1. What if your PAN card is lost? 

​If the PAN card is lost then you can apply for duplicate PAN card by submitting the Form for “Request for New PAN Card Or/ and Changes or Correction in PAN Data” and a copy of FIR may be submitted along with the form.

​If the PAN card is lost and you don’t remember your PAN, then in such a case, you can know your PAN by using the facility of “Know Your PAN” provided by the Income Tax Department. This facility can be availed from the website of the Income Tax Department –

​You can know your PAN online by providing the core details like Name, Father’s Name and Date of Birth. After knowing the PAN you can apply for duplicate PAN card by submitting the “Request For New PAN Card Or/ And Changes Or Correction in PAN Data”.

2. What is the penalty for not complying with the provisions relating to PAN? 

Section-272B provides for penalty in case of default by the taxpayer in complying with the provisions relating to PAN, i.e., not obtaining PAN, even though he is liable to obtain PAN or knowingly quoting incorrect PAN in any prescribed document in which PAN is to be quoted or intimating incorrect PAN to the person deducting tax or person collecting tax. The penalty under section-272B is Rs. 10,000.

3. Can a person hold more than one PAN?

A person cannot hold more than one PAN. If a PAN is allotted to a person, then he cannot apply for obtaining another PAN. A penalty of Rs. 10,000/- is liable to be imposed under Section-272B​ of the Income-tax Act, 1961 for having more than one PAN.

If a person has been allotted more than one PAN then he should immediately surrender the additional PAN card(s).

4. Is it mandatory to provide the Assessing Officer Code in Form 49A/49AA?

Yes, it mandatory to provide the Assessing Officer (AO) Code in Form 49A/49AA. AO Code (i.e. Area Code, AO Type, Range Code, and AO Number) of the Jurisdictional Assessing Officer must be filled up by the applicant. These details can be obtained from the Income Tax Office or PAN Centre or websites of PAN service providers on or