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A permanent account number (PAN) is a ten-character alphanumeric identifier, issued in the form of a laminated "PAN card", by the Indian Income Tax Department, to any "person" who applies for it or to whom the department allots the number without an application. A PAN is a unique identifier issued to all judicial entities identifiable under the Indian Income Tax Act, 1961. The income tax PAN and its linked card are issued under Section 139A of the Income Tax Act. It is issued by the Indian Income Tax Department under the supervision of the Central Board for Direct Taxes (CBDT) and it also serves as an important proof of identification. It is also issued to foreign nationals (such as investors) subject to a valid visa, and hence a PAN card is not acceptable as proof of Indian citizenship. A PAN is necessary for filing income tax returns. The primary purpose of the PAN is to bring a universal identification to all financial transactions and to prevent tax evasion by keeping track of monetary transactions, especially those of high-net-worth individuals who can impact the economy. Quoting the PAN is mandatory when filing income tax returns, tax deduction at source, or any other communication with the Income Tax Department. PAN is also steadily becoming a mandatory document for opening a new bank account, a new landline telephone connection / a mobile phone connection, purchase of foreign currency, bank deposits above ₹50,000, purchase and sale of immovable properties, vehicles etc. PAN is an important document for foreign citizens also, who wish to undertake business in India or wish to invest in India. Procedure to obtain PAN is same as applicable for Indian citizens. However, the application is required to be filled using Form 49AA meant for foreign citizens and submitted at any of the authorized PAN Service Centre through the authorized representative in India. List of documents applicable for foreign citizens.