For all Indian citizens, a PAN card, or Permanent Account Number, is a crucial 10-character alphanumeric code provided by the Income Tax Department for taxation and other identification purposes. PAN card acts as legal identity verification and photo for various purposes, including obtaining a gas connection and opening a bank account.
The Importance of PAN Card
PAN enables the Income Tax department to identify and link all transactions of the PAN holder with the department. These transactions include tax payments, TDS/TCS credits, returns of income, specified transactions, correspondence, and so on. It facilitates easy retrieval of information of PAN holders and matching of various investments, borrowings, and other business activities of PAN holders.
However, obtaining a physical PAN card can be a lengthy process as it takes time to verify, print, and mail the card. Normally, two weeks are required to process the application and dispatch the PAN card, provided the application is in order in all respects.
The Introduction of e-PAN
In a bid to speed up this process and embrace digitalization, the Income Tax department has introduced the concept of e-PANs.
What is e-PAN service?
The e-PAN service has been launched to instantly allocate PAN cards. These cards are allocated nearly in real-time to applicants who possess a valid Aadhaar number. An e-PAN is a digitally signed card in a digital form, relying on the e-KYC information from Aadhaar. PAN cards are generated and provided to applicants in a PDF format free of cost.
How to Obtain an e-PAN Card
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get an e-PAN card:
1. Log into the e-filing portal of the Income Tax Department: Visit the official Income Tax Department e-filing portal at https://www.incometax.gov.in/iec/foportal/.
2. Navigate to the e-Filing portal homepage: Once on the portal, locate the e-Filing portal homepage, and click on the “Instant e-PAN” option.
3. Initiate the e-PAN application: On the e-PAN page, click on “Get New e-PAN.”
4. Provide your Aadhaar Card number: On the application page, enter your 12-digit Aadhaar Card number.
5. Confirm your agreement: After entering your Aadhaar number, mark the checkbox confirming your agreement, and then click ‘Continue’.
6. Validate with OTP: On the OTP validation page, click “I have read the consent terms and agree to proceed further.” Then, click on ‘Continue’.
7. Enter the OTP: Enter the 6-digit OTP received on the mobile number linked with your Aadhaar card.
8. Validate Aadhaar details: Select the checkbox to validate the Aadhaar details with UIDAI and again click on ‘Continue’.
9. Accept Terms: Click on the “I Accept” checkbox on the Validate Aadhaar Details page and click ‘Continue’.
10. Success message: After submitting, a success message will be displayed on the screen along with an Acknowledgement Number.
11. Download your e-PAN: Next, you will see an option to “View E-PAN and Download E-PAN.” Select the download option.
By following these simple steps, you can obtain your e-PAN card quickly and conveniently, eliminating the need to wait for the physical card to arrive in the mail.
In conclusion, the introduction of the e-PAN service by the Income Tax Department is a significant step towards digitization and simplification of processes. It allows Indian citizens to obtain their PAN cards swiftly by leveraging their Aadhaar numbers. This initiative aligns with the government’s vision of a Digital India and facilitates ease of access to essential services.