Permanent Account Number (PAN) is a unique, ten-digit alphanumeric identity issued by the Income Tax Department to all taxpayers in India.
PAN facilitates instrumental transactions such as tax payments, entering certain financial contracts, and filing I-T returns.
It also serves as a government-verified proof of identity.
However, if you don't have PAN, don't fret, you can use these two documents in its place.
Alternative 1: Aadhaar card
Recently, the government announced that PAN and Aadhaar can now be used interchangeably.
This implies that taxpayers are free to quote their Aadhaar number (instead of PAN), in order to file their I-T returns.
Further, Aadhaar can also be used for other services where quoting of PAN is necessary, such as buying/selling financial instruments like MF, gold, etc.
Automatic PAN generation for taxpayers using Aadhaar to file ITR
The Income Tax department now also issues a fresh PAN to taxpayers who use their Aadhaar (in place of PAN) to file Income Tax returns, as a new method to link the two databases.
According to a notification from CBDT, such users shall be deemed to have applied for PAN allotment, and no further documents will be needed.
Alternative 2: Form 60
Those who do not possess PAN can also fill up Form 60 and use it as a replacement.
For the uninitiated, Form 60 is a signed declaration stating that you do not have PAN and that your income is below taxable limits.
However, only those who don't have PAN can fill this form. Otherwise, you might be penalized.
Separately, it is mandatory to link PAN-Aadhaar by December 31
Meanwhile, it should be noted that it is mandatory to link your PAN with Aadhaar.
December 31, 2019 is the last date to carry out the linkage. Earlier, this deadline was September 30.
Now, if a taxpayer fails to meet the new deadline, their PAN would be rendered "inoperative".
Here's the procedure to link the two documents online and via SMS.
Here's how to link PAN and 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, linkage will be confirmed.
Notably, you can also link the two documents via SMS.
You can also link your PAN and 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.