Permanent Account Number (PAN) is a unique 10-digit code issued by the Indian Income Tax Department under Central Board of Direct Taxes which is used as an important proof of identification for Individuals and Income tax paying entities who are governed under the Indian Income Tax Act 1961. Unlike Aadhar card status online, Voter ID, Passport and other identification cards the PAN is also issued to Foreign Nationals who have valid VISA and are in India for Investments or Business, hence PAN is not accepted as a proof of citizenship.

The main purpose of the PAN is to identify and track all financial transactions and check tax evasions in order to protect the economy from the rich and the affluent high-net-worth individuals. Therefore quoting the PAN is compulsory in opening bank accounts, receiving salary, investing in equity or bonds and buying or selling of high value assets.


The PAN is unique to every individual for an entire lifetime and throughout the country and it remains unaffected by change in address of the holder. The IT PAN card is issued by the Indian Income Tax Department under the Section 139A of Income Tax Act.

Go here for the 10-digits in the PAN constitutes five codes, the first three digits are alphabetic serial number followed by the code that classifies the type of individual or taxpaying entity, the fifth digit is derived from the first character of the last name followed by four digits of serial number and the last digit is an check code denoted by an alphabet.


Obtaining a PAN is optional and voluntary like Driving Licence, Passport but it is compulsion for opening new bank accounts, buying-selling assets and doing transactions of higher values. The individuals have to apply for PAN by submitting the required application form to the authorized PAN agency of the district or can also apply online via NSDL accompanied by two passport size color photographs, proof of identification, Date of Birth and Address proof with the prescribed fee. It is also recommended to assist check Pan card application form with Aadhaar. Once the request is accepted by NSDL the PAN Card is sent to the individual via India Post and often reaches within 10-15 days.

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