A Pan Card is a Government authorised identity required for any citizen to pay taxes or to perform any transaction that requires the use of PAN information. It is one of the most important identification document that is indispensable for all bank deposits, insurance or mutual fund purchases. Over the years, applying for the Pan Card has grown into a hassle free and extremely simple two step process that includes application for the PAN Number by filling a form and consequent dispatch by the Income Tax Department. Applications may be made, both online and offline. PAN Card Applications are furnished by The NDSL and UTIITSL as the primary agencies, while there are district level agencies appointed by the Income Tax Department responsible for acceptance of PAN Card applications.Applications can be submitted at PAN centres situated all over the country. The applicant is required to download and fill form 49A or 49 AA . Offline procedures are mainly for individuals who do not have instant access to the internet such rural citizens or villagers.For those citizens who reside in technologically advanced areas, the Indian Government has launched an online system for the application of PAN Card. The NSDL and UTIITSL carry out all online administrative functions in relation to generation of the PAN Card. The applicant is required to fill and submit the application form and make an online payment of the processing fee. The required proof of address and identity must then be submitted through post. The fees vary in accordance with the kind of application. NRI applicant and foreign applicants must pay a higher denomination as compared to an ordinary Indian Citizen. The fee includes all processing and postal handling charges. The sum for an ordinary citizen of India is Rs. 107, which can be made by demand draft, Credit Card / Debit Card or Net Banking. For all foreigners, the amount can be paid by Demand Draft, Credit/ Debit Card, for a sum of Rs. 994, directed to the Mumbai address only. There are only a select number of countries that may apply for the PAN Card. The rest of the countries are required to contact the NDSL for further information.The applicant is required to attach two passport sized photographs taken before a white background in the acknowledgement area of the form. The photographs should not be stapled or clipped, as the quality and clarity of image appearing on the original PAN Card will depend on the condition of the image given in the form.Foreigners intending to own some form of business or make any kind of financial transactions, require a PAN Card as well. For Non Residential Indians or foreigners, similar procedures must be followed. However, the required to be filled and submitted is 49AA.NRIs- Non Residential Indians require a PAN Card to perform any tax payments in India. However, the form submitted by them is the same as an Indian Citizen, as the applicable fees and documents required for them, is the same as an Indian Citizen.In case a citizen misplaces the PAN Card as a result of theft or a natural calamity, an application for the reprint of PAN is required to be submitted. The agency issues an acknowledgement copy after verifying it with your previous PAN Card copy. The details on the card remain the same as the details submitted for the original application. However, it is essential for the individual to submit the the PAN card copy or PAN Card acknowledgement letter, in person, to the NDSL or UTIITSL.Documents required for the application of PAN Card:Proof of Identity:Aadhaar Card issued by the Unique Identification Authority of IndiaElector's photo identity cardDriving LicensePassportRation card having photograph of the applicantArm's licensePhoto identity card issued by the Central Government or State Government or Public Sector UndertakingPensioner card having photograph of the applicantCentral Government Health Service Scheme Card or Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme photo card Certificate of identity in Original signed by a Member of Parliament or Member of Legislative Assembly or Municipal Counsellor or a Gazetted officer, as the case may be (in prescribed format) Bank certificate in Original on letterhead from the branch(along with name and stamp of the issuing officer) containing duly attested photograph and bank account number of the applicant (in prescribed format)Aadhaar Card issued by the Unique Identification Authority of IndiaElector's photo identity cardDriving LicensePassportPassport of the spousePost office passbook having address of the applicantLatest property tax assessment orderDomicile certificate issued by the GovernmentAllotment letter of accommodation issued by Central or State Government of not more than three years oldProperty Registration DocumentCopy of following documents of not more than three months old:Electricity BillLandline Telephone or Broadband connection billWater BillConsumer gas connection card or book or piped gas billBank account statement or as per note 2Depository account statementCredit card statementCertificate of Address in Original signed by a Member of Parliament or Member of Legislative Assembly or Municipal Counsellor or a Gazetted officer, as the case may be (in prescribed format)Employer certificate in original (in prescribed format).Copy of the following documents if they bear the name, date, month and year of birth of the applicant:Aadhaar card issued by the Unique Identification Authority of IndiaElector's photo identity cardDriving licensePassportMatriculation certificate or Mark sheet of recognised boardBirth certificate issued by the municipal authority or any office authorised to issue birth and death certificate by the Registrar of Birth and Deaths or the Indian Consulate as defined in clause (d) of subsection (1) of section 2 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 (57 of 1955)Photo identity card issued by the Central Government or State Government or Central Public Sector Undertaking or State Public Sector UndertakingDomicile certificate issued by the GovernmentCentral Government Health Service Scheme photo card or Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme photo cardPension payment orderMarriage certificate issued by the Registrar of MarriagesAffidavit sworn before a magistrate stating the date of birthUpdates on the PAN procedures can be acquired on the internet using the ‘Status Tracking' option. The reference number present at the end of the application should be used to track the status. The system usually takes around 15-30 days to process your request. Applications made through the UTITSL can be tracked through the coupon number that is generated by the department.Owning a PAN Card grants you credibility. The Government can avail various loans and mortgages to a citizen owning a PAN Card. The PAN Card is essential to buy or sell all immovable properties, any kind of automobile, or to open a bank account. The PAN Card is essential to buy shares or debentures exceeding the value of 1 lakh rupees. Most importantly, it can be used a valid proof of identity throughout the country. Make sure you've applied for a PAN Card if you already haven't.
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