Inoperative PAN: Steps NRIs & OCIs can Follow to Activate PAN without Linking to Aadhaar

As the deadline to link PAN and Aadhaar number ended on 30th June 2023, the PAN cards of many Non-Resident Indians have become inoperative because they did not update their current residential status in the PAN Database. Moreover, PANs of NRIs who don’t have an Aadhaar card have automatically become inoperative. However, the income tax department has clarified that NRIs need to update their residential status to activate their PANs online by sending a formal email to the Jurisdictional Assessing Officer (JAO). Here is a step-by-step guide for NRIs to activating their inoperative PANs.

Steps NRIs can Follow to Activate an Inoperative PAN without Linking to Aadhaar
Steps NRIs can Follow to Activate an Inoperative PAN

How NRIs can activate their PAN?

Here are two quick steps that NRIs need to take to update their residential status and activate their inoperative PAN. 

Step 1: Know Your Jurisdictional Assessing Officer’s Email Address

  •  Click here to know your assessing officer. 
  • Enter details like your PAN and mobile number (either overseas or Indian mobile number). After that you will receive an OTP on your number. 

  • Once your details are verified, the email ID of your jurisdictional assessing officer will be displayed on the screen. Note down this email address as you will need it for the next step.

Step 2: Write the Email to Your JAO (Jurisdictional Assessing Officer)

Now you need to send an email with supporting documents (copy of PAN card & copy of passport showing period of residence outside India) to your respective jurisdictional officer requesting him/her to update your residential status in the PAN database and activate your PAN. Here is a suggested email format and content for NRIs and OCIs, respectively.

For NRI:

[Subject]: Request to Activate My PAN as NRI

Dear [Income Tax Officer’s Name],

This is to bring to your kind notice that I have been residing in this country for the past many years [Number or years/ months]. My pan card has become inoperative because I have not linked my PAN number with my Aadhaar. However, as an NRI, it is not mandatory for me to hold an Aadhaar card or link PAN with Aadhaar. 

I kindly request you to update my residential status in the PAN database and activate my PAN as an NRI. I have attached copies of the following documents for your consideration:

1.Name: [Your Full Name]
2. PAN: [Your PAN Number]
3. Indian Passport (With Departure and Arrival Stamp showing the period of residence outside India)

Thank you for your kind attention to this matter. 

Yours sincerely,

[Your Full Name]
[Your Contact Information]

For OCI:

[Subject]: Request to Activate My PAN as OCI

Dear [Income Tax Officer’s Name],

I renounced my Indian citizenship in (YEAR), and acquired a (COUNTRY NAME) citizen. Hence, I want to update my Citizenship in the PAN Database. PFA the documents herewith.

Thank you for your kind attention to this matter. 

Yours sincerely,

[Your Full Name]
[Your Contact Information]

Documents required to be attached as OCI

Copy of PAN Card, Foreign Passport and OCI Card

Once your residential status as an NRI is updated in the PAN database, your PAN will become operative. In case, you face any difficulty in updating your residential status or reactivating your PAN, you can contact [email protected] for any assistance.

Is it Mandatory for NRIs to Link their PAN and Aadhaar?

According to the provisions of the Income Tax Act, NRIs have the option to link their PAN and Aadhaar cards, but it is not compulsory for them to do so. However, if an NRI chooses not to link their PAN and Aadhaar, it is necessary for them to update their residential status as an NRI on the Income Tax portal. Failure to inform the Income Tax Department about the residential status and the non-linkage of PAN and Aadhaar may result in the PAN becoming inoperative.

Why will PAN be Inoperative from July 1, 2023? 

India’s tax authority made it mandatory for all taxpayers to link their PAN card, an account number that connects all taxpayer transactions, with Aadhaar card, an identification number that serves as proof of identity and residence.

The deadline for linking PAN card with Aadhaar was June 30, 2023. Failure to link both cards by this date makes the PAN ‘inoperative,’ making it challenging for individuals to carry out various financial transactions in India. However, Indians living abroad who missed the deadline can still link the cards by paying a penalty. Read further to know how. 

How to Check PAN-Aadhaar Linking Status?

To check the status of PAN-Aadhaar linking, follow these steps:

Step 1: Visit the income Tax e-Filing portal located on the income tax website.

Step 2: Navigate to the left side of the page and locate the ‘Quick Links’ section. Click on the ‘Link Aadhaar Status’ link.

Step 3: Enter your 10-digit PAN number and Aadhaar number in the provided fields.

Step 4: Select ‘View Link Aadhaar Status’.

If your Aadhaar number has already been linked, it will be displayed on the screen. However, if your PAN number is not yet linked with Aadhaar, follow the steps provided above to complete the linking process. Afterward, you can check the status of your PAN-Aadhaar linkage at a later date.

What are the Consequences of Inoperative PAN?

The consequences of having an inoperative PAN card are as follows:

  • Limited Access to Financial Services

With an inoperative PAN, NRIs may face difficulties in availing tax or banking services that require the provision of a valid PAN number. This can include filing income tax returns (ITRs), accessing bank accounts, and conducting various financial transactions.

  • Non-processing of Income Tax Refunds

When your PAN is inoperative, the processing of income tax refunds may be halted. This means NRIs  may not receive any tax refunds until your PAN is made operative again.

  • Increased TCS and TDS Rates

Certain incomes and expenditures may attract higher TCS (Tax Collection at Source) and TDS (Tax Deducted at Source). This can result in additional tax burdens on NRI’s part.

  • Restricted Investment Options

An inoperative PAN can limit an NRI’s ability to invest in various financial instruments such as Fixed Deposits (FDs), mutual funds, and other NRI investment options offered by banks and financial institutions.

Contact SBNRI

Due to the lack of resources or right information, NRIs may sometimes find it difficult to apply for a new PAN card or correct the information in the existing PAN. We at SBNRI, understand this struggle and are here to help you out with everything. You can get in touch with our expert directly on WhatsApp using the button below to resolve your doubts and queries. Also visit our blog and YouTube Channel for more details.

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