Do NRIs require a PAN Card to invest in India?

As per the new SEBI ruling with accordance to the protocols set by the Income Tax Department of India, anyone who wants to invest in Indian stock markets, invest in India or get into any financial transaction in India needs a PAN – permanent account number. SEBI has made it mandatory for all kind of investors to have a PAN card irrespective of the fact whether he is a resident Indian living in India or a person of India origin (PIO), Non resident Indian (NRI) or an OCI – overseas Indian living abroad to have a pan card; provided he intends to invest in India: primarily in Indian stock markets – viz: Indian mutual funds, stocks, derivatives, bonds or who wants to carry any kind of financial transaction.

A permanent account number is a 10 digit alpha-numeric code number coming in form a standardized card shape which is issued by the IT department of India in all major cities, besides this NRIs can also apply for a Indian pan card online by going to the government website. Generally it takes 20-30 days for an NRI to get his pan card in any foreign location, and he can apply for his PAN number online these days without any major hassles where he/she can pay online to the Income tax department and apply for his unique pan number. Just to mention, one person can have only one pan card for his life, and once the permanent account number is issued the number is not changed, however if the person’s pan card is lost then he may apply for a duplicate pan card; however his pan number remains the same.

It is said that if a person does not have a pan then he may be liable for a penalty of Rs.10,000. It is not necessary to file taxes if you have a pan, you pay taxes in India only if you are generating income out of India, however it is still advised to NRIs, PIOs and OCIs to file taxes as it reflects a good credibility and image of the client. Thus is utmost necessary for an NRI also to have a pan card, and he may apply for a PAN card through his representative or any other broker who can lend such kind of PAN card assistance services and who could go ahead and help the NRI in applying for a PAN card at various NRI pan service centers in India. All in all it is very easy these days to apply for a PAN, all one has to do is download pan application or relevant pan form online, fill them up and submit the same to any one of the various PAN service centers in India.

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