A PAN (Permanent Account Number) card is a unique 10 character code that is assigned to all tax paying entities in India.
Issued by the Income Tax Department, the card links all transactions that attract tax under a single source, making it convenient for the government to keep track of these.
A PAN card is necessary for filing Income Tax returns in the country, and all individuals and entities that pay tax, including foreigners are expected to have one.
Besides its primary use, a PAN card is also used as proof of identity and age for everything from booking tickets for a movie, investing in the stock market to applying for a passport.
Is it mandatory for NRIs to have PAN?
No, it is not mandatory for all NRIs to have PAN, but those who have a source of income in India need to have a PAN in order to file their taxes. This income could be in the form of rent, dividends from shares, returns from mutual funds, etc.
Other NRIs with no source of income in India need not have a PAN, although it is advisable to apply for a PAN and keep it handy for the future.
Benefits of PAN card for NRIs
A PAN is a critical identifier in the country, serving a number of useful purposes, as mentioned below.
- It simplifies the tax paying procedure, and is mandatory for all taxpayers
- NRIs cannot invest in securities or mutual funds without a PAN
- Purchase of property or vehicles in India requires PAN
- Depositing amounts over a certain limit requires PAN
- Owning a PAN simplifies the KYC procedure in most banks
Documents Required to Apply for NRI PAN Card
NRI applicants are required to submit the following documents when applying for a PAN card:
- 2 recent passport-sized photographs
- Copy of passport
- Overseas address proof- copy of overseas bank statement
Procedure for NRIs to Apply for a PAN
The Income Tax Department has simplified and streamlined the entire PAN application process, ensuring that an eligible NRI doesn’t have to spend his/her valuable time running after it. A NRI can follow a few simple steps to apply for a PAN.
- An applicant can log on to the official website of TIN-NSDL or UTIITSL to start the application process
- Since a NRI is an Indian citizen he/she should use Form 49A, providing the necessary information required in the form
- The form should be submitted along with the necessary documents (photographs, proof of address, ID proof and proof of age)
- A fee equivalent to Rs 107 (if the communication address is within India) or Rs 989 (if the communication/delivery address is outside India) should be paid
- Post payment, an acknowledgement number will be generated which can be used to track the status of a particular application
How to Apply for NRI PAN Card Online
- Visit the TIN NDSL website and select the “Online PAN Application” tab on the homepage.
- Select Form 49A, which is the form for Indian citizens from the two options provided.
- A page with instructions will open. Read the instructions carefully.
- At the bottom of the page, select the type of applicant from the drop down menu.
- An online form will open in anew tab. fill in the relevant details, taking care to follow the instructions on filling the form.
- On filling the form, an option to review the information will be provided.
- Upload the documents if the facility applies to you (if you have a DSC signature).
- After reviewing the information, click on “Submit”.
- A payment gateway will open, through which you can pay the processing fee by credit card.
- You can also choose to pay by cheque/DD from an Indian bank.
- An auto generated acknowledgement will appear on the screen. Print the acknowledgement and paste two photographs in the spaces provided.
- Sign the acknowledgement in the appropriate spaces provided for the same and attach the documents if you have not uploaded copies of them.
- If you have not paid through net-banking/credit card, attach the cheque/DD and post the acknowledgement as well as other documents to the address printed on the acknowledgement.
- The PAN card will be posted to the address mentioned on the form within a period of 21 working days from receipt of the acknowledgement.
Time taken for a NRI to Receive the PAN
It could take a NRI about 15-20 days to receive the PAN after he/she NRI has successfully paid the fee and submitted all documents. The PAN will be delivered to the communication address mentioned in the application.
If you have provided an overseas address, please check if the NSDL posts PAN cards to the country you reside in. At present, the NSDL send PAN cards by post to 99 countries.
Ensure the acknowledgement reaches the NSDL office within 15 days from the date of filling in the online form.
The fee for applying for an NRI PAN card is Rs. 107 for addresses in India. If the PAN is to be sent to an overseas address, the fee is Rs. 989.
Sources: Tax Information Network , UTI ISL , Bank Bazaar