The Income Tax department issued as many as 19.6 million new PAN cards during the quarter ending March 2018, taking the total number to over 379 million, as per the official data released on Tuesday.
Permanent Account Number (PAN) is a 10-digit alphanumeric identifier, issued by the department to each assessee, who may be individual, firm, and company. It is required for paying tax and filing return.
Increase in a number of PAN allotment is a reflection of efforts made by the government to widen tax base.
The income tax data revealed that there was about 359 million PAN allotted by end December 2017. The number rose to 379 million at March-end 2018.
The maximum number of PAN have been to issued individuals (97.46 per cent), followed by firms (1.08 per cent) and Hindu Undivided Family (0.51 per cent).
The other categories who have been allotted PAN include, an associate of persons; the body of individuals; company; government; artificial juridical person; local authority and trust.