PAN stands for Permanent Account Number. It is issued by the Income Tax Department and serves as a very important identity proof. The essential reason for introducing PAN is to bring a universal identification key factor for all financial transactions and thereby prevent tax evasion. One of the characteristic features of a PAN number is that it is unique, accepted nationally and is unaffected by change of name or address (even inter-state). PAN once allotted will remain the same throughout the life period of an individual or entity.
Those who are already allotted a ten-digit alphanumeric PAN shall not apply for the same again as having or using more than one PAN is illegal. However, request for a new PAN card with the same PAN or/and changes or correction in PAN data can be made by filling up the form for 'Request for New PAN Card or/and Changes or Correction in PAN Data'
A PAN number is an alphanumeric code. The basic structure is AAAAA9999A. The first five characters are letters, next 4 numerals and the last character is a letter again. The first three characters are a sequence of letters from AAA to ZZZ
The fourth character indicates the type of holder. Following are the codes through which they are identified:
C — Company
P — Person
H — HUF (Hindu Undivided Family)
F — Firm
A — Association of Persons (AOP)
T — AOP (Trust)
B — Body of Individuals (BOI)
L — Local Authority
J — Artificial Judicial Person
G — Government
The fifth character of the PAN:
(a) In case of a person is the first letter of the surname /last name of the person,
(b) In case of a Company/ HUF/ Firm/ AOP/ BOI/ Local Authority/ Artificial Juridical Person/ is the first letter in the name of such entity
The last character is an alphabetic check digit.