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Do I really need a PAN Card?


Legally, you are under no obligation to have a PAN card. However, if you’re going to be living in India, work there or are an Indian living overseas who wants to have an Indian bank account or sell property in the country, you can’t do it without quoting your PAN card number.

The Personal Account Number – PAN – was introduced by the tax authorities in India to try to regulate the way money moves around the country. It’s a code which is unique to you, and is used to track how much tax you’re paying and to stop your tax records getting mixed up with other people who might have the similar personal details such as date of birth or name. Companies and other institutions which take out credit, run bank accounts and pay tax also have a PAN number.

Once issued, your PAN doesn’t change. If you move house or change your name on marriage, you can apply for a new card to be issued with your new details, but the number will stay the same.