First question must come to your mind that is why there is PAN. As you know almost under every taxation law person is identified with a unique number or code allotted under particular taxation law to identify the person and in the same manner under Income-tax law person is identified with PAN which is income tax identity of persons and it is national number which remain same whether you change your state of residence or not and it is lifetime number which is unique for every person. Before introduction of PAN there was concept of GIR (General Index Register) under Income-tax law which was based on circle or ward of the assessee and it used to get changed every year therefore creating difficulty in integrating data related to particular assessee regarding tax payment, investment, deductions, deposits etc. that is why through Finance Act, 1975 w.e.f. 1st April 1976 PAN system was introduced replacing GIR system..
Permanent account number (PAN) is a unique 10 characters alpha numeric number which is allotted after making application (PAN application form 49A (for Indian Citizens/Indian companies etc.) or 49AA (for foreigners)) for allotment of PAN. Where first five characters are alphabetic, next four characters are numeric and last character or tenth character is alphabetic. In PAN fourth character i.e. alphabetic represent the person type which can identified as follows:
Fourth means following for the letter mentioned
1. P – Individual or natural person
2. H – HUF
3. F – Firm including LLP
4. C – Company
5. A – Association of persons
6. B- Body of individual
7. J – Artificial juridical person
8. T – Trust
9. G – Government agency
10. L – Local authority
Fifth character in PAN represents first letter of last name of PAN holder whether PAN holder is natural person/individual or artificial person (other than natural person).
Now a days individual can go for e-PAN (through OTP received on mobile number registered with UIDAI on aadhaar) and in case of e-PAN there is no requirement to upload any supporting document because it is aadhaar based and free of cost which is allotted instantly after making online application for allotment of PAN and this facility is available to those individuals only whose mobile number is registered on aadhaar. If you don’t have registered mobile number on your aadhaar then you cannot go for e-PAN instead you will submit form 49A or 49AA as the case may, along with necessary documents with TIN facilitation centre or you can submit online form 49A or 49AA as the case may be, but you have submit documents in hard copy or you can submit online form 49A or 49AA as the case may be with DSC (digital signature certificate) or e-sign and you have to upload scanned images of supporting documents, photo & signature and digitally sign the application online .
Disclaimer – Author has exercised utmost care while writing this article, but still this article may contain some error or mistake and no part of this article/writing should be construed or considered as any advice or consultancy whether professional or otherwise.