Permanent Account Number (PAN) is a unique, ten-digit alphanumeric identity issued by the Income Tax Department to all tax-paying individuals and organizations in India.
PAN facilitates instrumental financial transactions such as tax payments, entering certain financial contracts, applying for credit/debit cards, filing I-T returns, among others.
It also serves as a government-verified proof of identity.
Here's how NRIs can apply for PAN in India.
Why would an NRI need PAN?
A non-residential Indian may have to apply for a PAN, if they earn taxable income in India, or desire to invest/trade in shares and mutual funds in India, or decide to buy some land or property in India (for purpose other than trading).
Now, if the applicant resides abroad, but is still an Indian citizen, then Form 49A must be selected.
In case the applicant is now a foreign citizen, then Form 49AA should be chosen.
Fill out necessary details, and click on 'Submit' button.
An acknowledgment slip will be issued to you.
Final steps in the application process
Take a printout of the acknowledgement slip.
Attach necessary documents, viz. an identity proof (DL/Aadhaar card/Voter ID card), an address proof (Passport/Bank account statement), two recent passport-size photographs, and the demand draft (if it's your preferred payment mode).
Duly attest these documents and mail to:
Income Tax PAN Services Unit, National Securities Depository Limited, 3rd floor, Sapphire Chambers, Near Baner Telephone Exchange, Baner, Pune-411045.
Note: PAN must be linked with Aadhaar by December 31
It should be noted that December 31, 2019 is the last date to link your PAN with Aadhaar. Earlier, this deadline was September 30.
Now, if a taxpayer fails to meet the new deadline, their PAN would be rendered "inoperative".
However, the implications concerning an inoperative PAN have not yet been clarified by the government.
Following is the procedure to link the two documents.
Here's how to link PAN with Aadhaar online
To link PAN with Aadhaar online, log on to the Income Tax e-portal.
Next, under the 'Quick Links' section, click on 'Link Aadhaar.'
Enter details such as Aadhaar number, PAN, name, and Captcha code.
Submit the details, click on 'Link Aadhaar', and you're done.
After successful verification from UIDAI, the linkage will be confirmed.
Notably, you can also link PAN-Aadhaar via SMS.
Here's how you can link PAN-Aadhaar via SMS
To link your PAN and Aadhaar via SMS mode, type a text message in this format: UIDPAN (space) 12-digit Aadhaar number (space) 10-digit PAN, and send to 567678 or 56161 from your Aadhaar-registered mobile number.