PAN stands for Permanent Account Number (PAN) which is a ten-digit alphanumeric number, issued by the Income Tax Authority of India; in the form of a laminated card. It is mandatory to quote PAN on return of income & in all documents pertaining to financial & investment related transactions.
PAN is now compulsory for everyone including NRI, PIO & OCI. It serves as Indian ID proof & is mandatory plus its needed if one needs to to carry any kind of financial transaction, make investments in stocks, open Demat account, buy immovable property in India, open bank account, get loan, visa, passport or make foreign remittance, etc.
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