PAN Card is a laminated card issued by the Income Tax Department in India. PAN stands for Permanent Account Number and it is a ten-digit alphanumeric code generated and issued by the Indian Income Tax Department, to uniquely identify every tax paying person (assesee) in India.

PAN Card is required by any person who files an income tax return in India.

When does one need a PAN Card?

PAN Card is mandatory for all investors wanting to invest in India. PAN is also mandatory for anyone who wants to carry out any transaction in Indian Stock Markets. This is true for any Resident or Non-Resident Indians living abroad, and who wish to make any kind of investment in India, buy any property/house in India, open a bank account in India, open a Demat account etc.

Every person is required to hold only one PAN Card. If any person has been allotted two or more PAN Cards, he/she may retain any one of them and surrender the others through a letter addressed to the Income Tax Officer of the jurisdiction in which his/her income is assesed to tax. It is infact illegal to have two or more PANs and the penalty for such offence is Rs.10,000.

For example, PAN Card or PAN (Permanent Account Number) is needed in the following circumstances:

· Opening a Bank Account in India
· Getting a credit card
· Sale or purchase of any property in India
· Sale of purchase of any motor vehicle
· Bank deposits exceeding Rs.50, 000
· Purchase of securities greater than Rs.1,00,000
· Travel Payments exceeding Rs.25,000
· Demand Drafts exceeding Rs.50,000
· Cheque deposits exceeding Rs.50,000
· Tax deducted at source

PAN Card is however not needed for those getting agricultural income (agriculturists) or for those who do not have taxable income.

However, it must be noted that not every PAN Card holder is required to furnish income tax returns. The PAN Card holder may have to submit an income tax return only if he/she has taxable income.

Find out how to make a new PAN Card Application online.