financial services

PAN Card for Individual Income Tax Payers


Who invented income tax? Before you pick up your clubs and hatchets be informed that the man is long dead. Some form of levy on subjects, citizens, merchants and traders has always been present since the dawn of civilisation. But income taxes as we know them today, in India, can be attributed to a modest Finance Minister named James Wilson in 1860.

Before the present avatar of the Permanent Account Number, direct tax payers were identified by their General Index Register (GIR) number. This involved manual registers for each tax circle and codes could be repeated in different jurisdictions. The first series of alphanumeric codes were statutorily introduced in 1972 with the insertion of Section 139A into the Income Tax Act of 1961. The provision came into effect on the 1st of April, 1976.

The old PAN series was not centralized. Each tax circle could issue a different PAN to the same tax payer and tax payers could hide income by distributing assets over various circles thus obtaining eligibility for a lower income tax slab. The fields captured in the database were very limited. Due to these limitations, a new series comprising of a 10 digit alphanumeric code was implemented which took effect all over the country by February 11, 1998.

The new PAN uses a Phonetic Soundex code program to ensure there is no duplication of the tax identifier. The new series is not inherently linked to a jurisdiction as that may change. However, the virtual register does identify the particular Assessing Officer, Region, Income tax Commissioners in charge, place and designation of the AO.

How Do I get a PAN Card Made?

A PAN number is essential if you want to login to the income tax portal or register as a bona fide tax payer and income tax return efiler. PAN cards can be allotted to both individual tax payers and companies. Foreign income earners in India can also obtain one.

Documents Required to Obtain PAN

  1. Any document (AADHAAR, Passport, Voter ID card, VISA, Driving License, Ration card etc.) which provides proof of
    1. residence
    2. identity
    3. date of birth (or incorporation in case of companies)
  2. Two Recently taken colour photographs of the individual.
  3. Either a signature or the Left Thumb impression will be needed to be captured (in an image file if submitting online). Further, the thumb impression, when used, must be attested by a Notary Public, Magistrate, or a Gazetted Officer with her official stamp and seal.

Where to Make the Application?

You can make an application for a PAN either online at the National Securities Depository Limited portal or by physically visiting one of their designated TIN centres.

Who Can Make the Application?

Category of Applicant


Payment by Credit Card / Debit Card / Net Banking can be made by / for
Individual Self, immediate family members (parents, spouse, children)
HUF Karta of the HUF
Company Any Director of the Company
Partnership Firm / Limited Liability Partnership Any Partner of the Firm / Limited Liability Partnership
Association of Person(s) / Body of Individuals / Trust / Artificial Juridical Person / Local Authority Authorized Signatory covered under section 140 of Income Tax Act, 1961


Minors can also have a PAN number allotted to them and in this case the AADHAAR, where captured, must be in the name of the minor and not a guardian. At present, AADHAAR is being mandatorily asked for at the time of filing the application for this income tax identifier.

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