What is a PAN Number?

What is a PAN card no?

PAN as most of them call it is nothing but stands for ‘permanent account number’. A PAN number can be considers as an Indian ID or TAX ID granted by the Income Tax Department of India. This is quite similar to the SSN or the social security number issued in the United States by the IRS.

These days a PAN number comes in a 10 digit alphanumeric code, which is embossed on a card. This is known as a PAN card. India’s PANcard is of the size of a driving license and contains your name, father’s name, photograph, date of birth, signature, your unique pan number and a government hologram.

Why do I need a pan no?

Recently the Govt of India has made it mandatory for everyone including NRIs – Non Resident Indians to have a PAN number, if they wish to conduct any type of financial or investment related transaction in India, over Rs.50,000.

It is also need if you wish to invest in India like mutual funds, stocks, bonds, etc. You may also need it if you want to buy property in India or want to do any kind of investment. All in all it is advisable to have a PAN number for NRIs.

PAN card number was started by the Indian government to keep an eye on how much taxes are generated, who all are paying taxes on time and to avoid anti-money laundering activities.

Do I have file Taxes in India if I have a PAN Number?

Having a PAN no doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to pay taxes in India. Most of foreign countries where Non Resident Indians (NRIs and PIOs) reside already have a double taxation treaty with India. This basically means that if an NRI is making money abroad then he only pays taxes to the foreign government where he is currently residing and not to the Indian govt.

If you have a PAN number form India, then you do NOT have to pay taxes in India. You pay taxes in India only if you make money in India. For example you invest money in Indian mutual funds, and made profit. You would have to pay taxes on this profit and for this you need to have a PAN number as this unique number identifies you as a tax payer.

But if you do not make money in India, you don’t have to pay taxes in India; but it is always advisable to ‘file taxes in India’. You can file zero returns, meaning you don’t pay any taxes here as you did not make any money out of India. But as you filed taxes here it gives you a good standing in the eyes of the Indian credit and financing institutions. Your credit history in India would get better and in future it would be easy for you to get loans, doing business, etc.

So basically paying taxes is different from filing taxes. It is always advisable to NRIs to file taxes in India (zero taxes) even if they did not accrue money in India. Thus getting a PAN card does not mean that you have to pay taxes.

How can I apply for a PAN card number online?

These days it is easy to register for a pan number online. You can simply go to the govt website OR take assistance of a NRI broker firm. Actually opening a Pan account with the government is a little complex; this is where an NRI agent comes handy. It is the duty of such a pan agent to help you get a pan.

>> They will tell you what documents are required to apply for a pan card number. In most cases they will get your documents attested in India too.

What is the simple way to get my PAN number?

Step 1: Log on to: www.PanCardNri.com

Step 2: Pay your PAN assistance fee and Download your NRI PAN Card Application.

Step 3: Fill up the pan form using the simple instruction provided by your agent at pancardnri.com

Step 4:  Fill the forms and send it along with required Supporting documents to their NRI PAN center.

Step 5: They will get the documents attested (in few cases), submit it to the govt pan office for processing.

Step 6: The NRI pan office issues an acknowledgement, which they scan and email you back with tracking number / application number.

Step 7: You can track the status of your pan card online.

Step 8: Finally you receive the PAN card abroad (foreign country) within 15 days.

Once you get your PAN card please do not forget to verify it online at the govt website.

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