PAN Card - What is Permanent Account Number & Complete Guide in 2024

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What is a PAN Card? 

PAN or Permanent Account Number is a 10-digit unique identification alphanumeric number. It is allotted to taxpayers of India. The individuals are identified via a computer-based system, where the PAN number provides all the tax-related information against a specific individual. The Income Tax Department allows the number to every individual along with the physical card. The article will help you get in-depth information on PAN cards and their importance.

Components of PAN Card

A physical copy of the PAN card is expected to have the following details: 

  • Full name of the card owner or individual 
  • Father’s name of card owner (in case of individual card owner)
  • 10 number digit PAN number containing numbers and alphabets 
  • Signature of the card owner 
  • Date of Birth of individual card owner or Date of Registration of corporation 
  • Photograph of the card owner 
  • Hologram of the Government of India 
  • Tag of the Income Tax Department 

Understanding Letters in PAN Card

  1. The first three letters are alphabets between A to Z
  2. The fourth letter indicates the category of taxpayer. Each letter indicates: 

A: Association of Persons

B: Body of Individuals 

C: Company 

F: Firms

G: Government 

H: Hindu Undivided Family 

L: Local Authority 

J: Artificial Judicial Person

P: Individual 

T: Association of Persons for a Trust 

  1. The fifth letter is the first alphabet of the card owner’s surname 
  2. The next five digits are random alphanumeric combinations where four characters are numbers, and the final character is the alphabet. 

Eligibility Criteria For PAN Card

The application process begins with Form 49A. The eligibility criteria require: 

Citizenship: The individual must be in India with valid proof of address, identity, and date of birth 

Hindu Undivided Families: HUFs or Hindu Undivided Families are a legally specific category. The heads of the families are eligible to apply for a PAN card on behalf of the family. They must fulfil all the other eligibility criteria along with the affidavit. 

Minors: Minors can apply for a PAN card where the parents sign the Form 49A. Also, other documents of parents showing them meeting the eligibility criteria are required. 

Mentally Retarded Individuals: They are eligible for PAN cards, where representatives will have to apply. 

Limited Liability Partnership: They require a copy of the certificate of registration authorised by the Registrar of LLPs. 

Partnership Firm: They require a Copy of the Partnership Deed or a Copy of the Certificate of Registration authorised by the Registrar of Firms. 

Trusts: They need to submit a Registration certificate from the Charity Commissioner and a trust deed. 

Persons’ Associations: They are eligible if they submit a registration certificate. 

Companies: They need to provide a registration certificate obtained from the State Registrar of Companies and a registration number. 

Local Authorities: They require a copy of the agreement. 

Artificial Judicial Person: They must apply using government-approved proof of identity and residence and by providing a registration certificate. 

Application Procedure Required For PAN Card

Individuals can apply for a PAN card both online and offline. The online mode further provides two options: the NSDL portal or the UTIITSL portal. 

Application Procedure Through NSDL

Step 1: Visit the official website of NSDL and select the option ‘Application Type’. 

Step 2: Select the application to submit based on your citizenship

Step 3: Choose the appropriate category to fill in the personal details, which includes name, date of birth, email address and mobile number and understand the guidelines. Then, tick the guidelines and enter the CAPTCHA code for final submission. 

Step 4: Pay the application fee through any mode of payment. 

Step 5: The application submission will generate an acknowledgement number. Save the digital copy for future usage. 

Step 6: Get a hard copy of the acknowledgement paper, add your passport-sized photograph and put the signatures with a black pen. Send these to the Income Tax Department with all the proofs within 15 days of the online application. 

Step 7: The PAN card will be provided after the validation of documents. It will be provided on the registered email address and mobile number.

Application Procedure Through UTIITSL

Step 1: Visit the official UTIITSL website and choose the ‘For PAN Cards’ option. 

Step 2: Choose the option ‘Apply PAN Card’ and choose the appropriate citizenship. 

Step 3: Select the right requirement to apply for a new PAN card, followed by selecting the preferred mode, ‘Physical’ or ‘Digital’.  

Step 4: Fill in the details, such as applicant status and preferred PAN card mode, and then submit the application. 

Step 5: Pay the fees for generating a PAN card through the preferred mode.

Step 6: You will receive a digital copy of the acknowledged paper, which needs to be printed out.

Step 7: Get the hard copy and paste the passport-size photograph. Put the signatures in black pen and submit the application attached with all the valid proofs to the Income Tax Department. 

Step 8: The PAN number will be sent to the registered mobile and email address after the successful completion of the documentation process. 

Offline PAN Card Application Procedure

Step 1: Open the NSDL website and log in with your details. Register yourself in case of a new application or proceed to log in otherwise.

Step 2: Select ‘Apply Online’ and download the relevant form, i.e., Form 49A for Indian citizens and Form 49AA for foreign citizens.

Step 3: Fill out the application form and upload a passport-sized photograph of yourself.

Step 4: After payment confirmation, print out the 15-digit acknowledgement number and sign the form.

Step 5: Attach a passport-size photograph and the printed POI/POA document and post it to the NSDL office. Applicants will be charged with PAN card fees.

Step 6: PAN will be received within 15 to 30 working days.

Uses of PAN Card

PAN cards are used in multiple situations, including

  • Paying direct taxes.
  • Filling out income tax application
  • During business registration
  • Any form of financial operations
  • Purchasing of property of INR 5 lakhs or above
  • For vehicle purchases except for two-wheeler
  • Widely used in case of hotel payments above INR 25,000.
  • In case of bank deposits above INR 50,000.
  • Purchasing shares above INR 50,000
  • When investing in mutual funds
  • During foreign currency transaction
  • When we transfer funds from a Non-Resident External (NRE) account to a Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) account.


It is important to fill out the correct form and provide accurate documents and a registered number and email address while filling out the application form. In case of fake, incorrect or incomplete information, the process of applying for a PAN card will be hindered or even rejected. 

  • Why is a PAN card crucial?

  • If an individual submits a PAN application form to TIN-FC, do they receive an acknowledgement?

  • What age is eligible for a PAN card?