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    Permanent Account Number – PAN

    What is a PAN?

    Permanent Account Number abbreviated as PAN is a unique 10-digit alphanumeric number issued by the Income Tax Department to Indian taxpayers.

    The department records all tax-related transactions and information of an individual against his unique permanent account number. This allows the taxman to link all tax-related activities with the department.

    PAN primarily acts as a database for all individual transactions, such as the tax collected at source (TCS)/tax deducted at source (TDS) credits, income tax payments, return on gift/investments/wealth, etc. Simply put, the PAN enables the tax department to identify an individual’s tax-related transaction.

    PAN Card

    The tax department issues an individual’s PAN on a physical card referred to as the PAN card. The PAN card includes information, such as the PAN number, photograph, name, and date of birth of the holder.

    PAN Card Number Format

    Here's a breakdown of the PAN card number format :

    First Five Characters (Alphabetic): These are three alphabetic characters (in uppercase) from AAA to ZZZ, followed by a letter representing the PAN holder's type:

    • P- Individual
    • C - Company
    • H - Hindu Undivided Family (HUF)
    • F - Firm
    • T - Trust
    • B - Association of Persons (AOP)
    • L - Local Authority
    • J - Artificial Juridical Person (AJP)
    • G - Government
    • E - Elective Body

    Sixth Character (Alphabetic): This letter is derived from the applicant's last name.

    Next Four Characters (Numeric): These are four sequential digits between 0001 and 9999.

    Tenth Character (Alphabetic): This is an alphabetic check digit used for validation purposes. It can be any letter from A to Z.

    For example, a typical PAN format could be ABCTY1234D.

    Is PAN Mandatory?

    The Income Tax Department has mandated the use of PAN on the return of income on all tax-related transactions. PAN is an integral aspect when it comes to tracking the transactions and monitoring the inflow and outflow of an individual’s money.

    Also, the government has mandated the linking of PAN with Aadhaar. The deadline for linking of PAN with Aadhaar is 31 March 2020. In the same line, the Finance Minister, in the Union Budget 2020, proposed to instantly allot PAN to individuals on the basis of their Aadhaar.

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