PAN, or permanent account number, is a unique 10-digit alphanumeric identity allotted to each taxpayer by the Income Tax Department under the supervision of the Central Board of Direct Taxes. It also serves as an identity proof. PAN is mandatory for financial transactions such as receiving taxable salary or professional fees, sale or purchase of assets above specified limits, buy mutual funds and more.

The primary objective of PAN is to use a universal identification key to track financial transactions that might have a taxable component to prevent tax evasion. The PAN number remains unaffected by change of address throughout India.