PAN is an acronym for Permanent Account Number. It is identification cards for Indians,   mostly applicable to people who pay their income tax. It’s a 10 characters, unique and alpha- numeric code such as AAAPL1356B. The first five are letters, followed by four numerical then lastly a single letter. The  fourth letter indicates on the is issued to individuals by income tax department of India under the authority and supervision of Central board of Direct Taxes[CBDT]. The unique code also serves  as a very important evidence of identification.

PAN card has some similarities to driving license and Aadhar Card number. They can all be issued to foreign citizens.

The unique code is given to foreign investors who have valid visas therefore, it is not used as citizenship proof. PAN is obligatory in various financial transactions like in opening bank accounts, professional fees, receiving salary that is taxable, the purchase or sell of monies that are above specified limits.

The main purpose of PAN is to achieve common identification for all financial dealings and to avert tax evasion by keenly tracking the financial transactions, particularly those of high value that can have impacts on the economy.

The PAN code is inimitable to each person and its validity lasts throughout the holders lifespan. Once the code has been issued to an individual, it cannot be affected by change of persons address.


The modern PAN resembles a plastic, standard bank card in shape. It contains a passport photo of the holder, date of birth, hologramsticker that is used as a security feature and issued date. The address of a person is not represented. However, a letter written upon issue contains the holders address. The card and the letter can be used as proof of residence. PAN card issued to minors through UTI-ITSL have no facial photo or issued date.

Cards that were issued erstwhile before 2001 were all blank and white. The cards are still in use till today. However those who are interested in renewing the card can apply upon the payment of required fee.

When a person is filling in returns for Income Tax, education tax at source or when communicating with the tax department quoting of the PAN is required. The code is slowly becoming a requirement needed in opening new accounts at the bank, new telephone connection, and purchasing foreign currency, among others.

Obtaining the PAN is still optional like driving licenses and passports. However some places its use is obligatory like transactions of high can put in a request by submitting a PAN application request to the PAN agency. This can also be done through online submission of the application plus two copies of passport photos, proof address and ID to NSDL. For you to receive the card after application the process only takes a few days [10-15]. It is delivered by courier or registered postaladdress. You are strongly advised to link Aadhar card and PAN card. In the future is card will become mandatory therefore it’s recommended for one to apply for it now. This protects you from future struggles.