Think PAN is only for tax purposes? Find out

Are you planning to go on a shopping spree or buying a home theatre system that could set you back by a few lakhs? Before you step out of your home, remember to carry your Permanent Account Number (PAN) as the salesman may ask you for it if you’re buying above a specific limit.

Here are some more uses of the 10-digit alphanumeric number, which might come in handy to you:

  1. To avoid higher deduction of taxes at source: Not updating or providing PAN details in your savings bank account may attract Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) at the highest marginal rate. For accounts where the annual interest payment exceeds Rs 10,000 and PAN details are not provided, the bank can deduct TDS at the rate of 30 per cent.
  2. To avail House Rent Allowance (HRA) tax benefit: If you’re living on rent and paying over Rs 1 lakh per annum then it is mandatory to provide your landlord’s PAN to your employer to avail HRA tax benefit.
  3. For investing purposes: If you’re investing over Rs. 50,000 in mutual funds (MFs), bonds or debentures, you need to provide your PAN details. While investing, you have to undergo a one-time Know Your Customer (KYC) process, which requires a photograph, identity (ID) and address proof. PAN card serves as an ID proof and is mandatory for almost all investment products.
  4. To carry out business or profession: If you’re carrying out any business or profession where annual sales or receipts total exceeds Rs 5 lakh then you need a PAN.
  5. To receive a refund from Income-tax (I-T) Department: Well, you know that to pay your I-T dues, you need to file your returns. However, to receive the refund in excess of the tax deducted from your taxable income, you also need to file I-T returns for which PAN is required.
  6. Buying a car: Did you know that for buying or selling a car, it is mandatory for you to provide PAN? However, this rule is not applicable for two-wheelers.
  7. Opening a bank account: As per the I-T website, it is mandatory to quote your PAN while opening a bank account. However, a Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account (BSBDA) is exempted from this rule. BSBDA is a savings bank accounts in which the total credits must not exceed Rs 1 lakh per annum, subject to other conditions.
  8. Opening a demat account: For people trading in share markets, it is mandatory to have a dematerialised (demat) account. And without a PAN, you cannot open a demat account.
  9. Investing in fixed deposit (FDs): If you’re planning to invest over Rs 50,000 or aggregate of more than Rs 5 lakh in a financial year in a time deposit/FD of a bank, post office or a Non-baking Financial Company (NBFC) then you’re mandatorily required to quote your PAN.
  1. Purchase of foreign currency in cash: If you’re planning to travel abroad then you need to carry foreign currency with you. As per the I-T website, if you make a payment of over Rs 50,000 with respect to any foreign travel or for the purchase of any foreign currency at any one time then you must also provide your PAN while making these payments.
  2. Applying for credit/debit card: Remember when you applied for your favourite swipe card during demonetisation, you were required to provide your PAN details?
  3. Paying hotel/restaurant bill: As per I-T Rule 114B, it is required by you to quote your PAN for cash payment over Rs 50,000 for paying your hotel or restaurant bill, or bills at one time.
  4. Investing in Reserve Bank of India (RBI) bonds: While investing over Rs 50,000 in RBI bonds, you are required to provide your PAN, along with other details.
  5. Depositing cash in the bank: If you’re planning to visit the bank soon to deposit cash then don’t forget your PAN card at home. For depositing cash over Rs 50,000, you need to mention your PAN while filling the pay-in slip.
  6. For the purchase of bank drafts, pay order or banker’s cheque: At times you are required to make some payments either through bank drafts, pay orders or banker’s cheque. If you purchase these instruments in cash for an amount exceeding Rs 50,000 during any day, you’re required to quote your PAN.
  7. Buying a gift card or other prepaid instruments: Prepaid instruments are payment instruments that facilitate the purchase of goods and services, including funds transfer against the value stored in them. Any payment made via cash or any banking instruments like cheque or draft for the amount exceeding Rs 50,000 on aggregate for the financial year for one or more prepaid instruments requires the quoting of PAN, as per RBI guidelines.
  8. For making premium payments: Every individual makes some investments to save tax under Section 80C of the I-T Act. Some make investments in Equity Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS) funds, while others buy life insurance policies. Rule 114B states that every person is required to quote PAN details for making life insurance premium payments over Rs 50,000 in a financial year on an aggregate.
  9. Transaction of securities other than shares: Rule 114B states that the sale or purchase of any security other than shares such as scrips, bonds, debenture or any other marketable securities as listed under the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956, over an amount of Rs 1 lakh per transaction requires PAN card as a mandatory document.
  10. Transaction of unlisted shares: Any sale or purchase of unlisted company shares exceeding Rs 1 lakh per transaction requires PAN card details to complete the required transaction.
  1. Immovable property transactions: Planning to buy or sell any immovable property such as a house? Rule 114B requires every person involved in the sale or purchase of any immovable property exceeding Rs 10 lakh to provide his PAN details.
  2. Sale/purchase of any goods & services: Rule 114B also states that any sale or purchase of good and services other than specified in the rule whose transaction value exceeds Rs 2 lakh per transaction mandatorily requires one’s PAN card.
  3. Investment in minor’s name: If you’re planning to make some investments in your children’s name then the guardian PAN number is required. However, the child must not have any income chargeable to tax.

Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) are exempted from providing their PAN in the following instances:

a) Applying for debit or credit card

b) Making cash payments for hotel and restaurant bills

c) Any payment made for foreign travel or foreign currency exchange

d) Payment made for acquiring RBI bonds

e) Payments made to purchase any drafts, pay order or banker’s cheque

f) Payment made for prepaid instruments

g) Sale or purchase of any good and services not mentioned in Rule 114B

If you don’t have a PAN, remember to make a declaration by submitting duly filled Form 60 while doing transactions which mandatorily require one.

Section 272B of the I-T Act deals with penalties related to non-compliance with PAN-related provisions. A Rs 10,000 penalty can be slapped on a taxpayer for not obtaining PAN when he is entitled to one, or knowingly quoting incorrect PAN in a prescribed document or initimating incorrect PAN to the person deducting or collecting the tax.

PAN has become an important document in our lives. You need to provide PAN details while investing for your retirement or buying jewellery, among other things.

It enables the government to track all your financial transactions and helps in checking whether your taxes and major financial expenses are consistent or not.

If you’re not planning to disappear from the financial world or don’t want the taxman to come knocking at your door, it is better to remember these rules and be careful with its misuse.

Source: The Economic Times

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