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One of the most important pieces of documentation in India is the PAN card. Without your PAN card and number you won’t be able to file your tax returns, buy or sell property, deposit large sums of money in your bank account or even buy flight tickets over a set amount. If you’ve lost your PAN card, then it’s important to organise a replacement as soon as you realise the original has gone astray. The number won’t change; your PAN number stays with you throughout your life through changes of address or name.
The easiest scenario in which to request a new PAN card is when you’ve damaged your original card and want to request a duplicate. If you can still read the PAN number off the card then just go to the Indian government’s tax website, fill in your PAN number and complete the section for requesting a duplicate card to be issued. There is a charge for this, and if you want to have your duplicate PAN sent to an address outside of India, postal charges will add to the cost considerably.
If you’ve not taken a note of your PAN number and have found your card has gone missing, then before you can go and request a duplicate card, you must first head to the Indian Government’s income tax department website and the PAN verification section. Log into the system using your ID and password and retrieve your PAN number from your file. If you’ve lost your login details for the website, then you’ll have to use the “contact us” section to get more advice on the details required to reissue your PAN number or the card. If you are living in India and have a PAN centre close by, you can also arrange an appointment to discuss a replacement with an advisor.
Non-resident Indians don’t have to have a PAN card in the first place, and if people of Indian heritage or who have an Indian passport don’t have any bank accounts, property, business or tax affairs in India then it might not be necessary. If you do live outside India and have a PAN card, the process for getting a duplicate is very similar. Fill ill the details required, pay the fee to have your new card sent out to your home address and wait up to four weeks for it to arrive in the post.
Accidents are often unavoidable and losing documents is just one of those things which happens to everyone, but you can make life easier on yourself by having a note of serial numbers and other details when organising replacements. Take photographs of your PAN card, passport and other important documents with your smartphone and store them somewhere safe or email them to yourself. If at some point in the future you lose your PAN card, at least you’ll have a record of the number which makes getting a replacement that little but easier.
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