Difference Between PAN, TAN and TIN

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Kirti Bansal
Kirti Bansal
Kirti Bansal is an esteemed financial expert and accomplished writer, specializing in a range of financial topics, including Financial Services, Investments, Loan Assessments, Mutual Funds, and Banking. With a wealth of experience in the financial industry, she has earned a reputation as a trusted voice! Her expertise serves as a beacon for those navigating the intricacies of finance.
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Amit Prakash Singh
Amit Prakash Singh
Co-Founder, Square Yards & Chief Business Officer, Urban Money
Amit Prakash Singh is the Chief Business Officer at Urban Money. With over nine years of experience at Square Capital, he has played a crucial role in establishing it as one of India's premier loan advisory services. Amit's deep financial insights and extensive knowledge have driven significant business growth and strategic advancements. He has successfully built and managed large sales teams, optimised costs, and created leaders within the industry. Amit's financial expertise and strategic vision are key to the ongoing success and expansion of Square Yards and Urban Money.

The TIN, PAN and TAN full forms can be studied as Taxpayer Identification Number, Permanent Account Number and Tax Deduction and Collection Account Number, respectively. These documents are among the most important documents required to carry out several activities like filing ITR, trading, deduction or collection of taxes etc. Each document has its importance and use and can be very well differentiated but is often confused as similar.

This guide aims to clear the air by talking about in detail the difference between TIN and TAN and PAN.

A Detailed Comparison Between PAN, TAN and TIN 

A person may find the various income tax terminologies to be confusing. Knowing these terms can simplify the process and provide information about the functioning of the Income Tax Department. PAN, TAN, and TIN are some of the most often terminologies we see; each has minor distinctions that might make your understanding of taxes easier. Let’s have a look at the detailed table below highlighting the difference between PAN and TAN and TIN.

Parameters PAN TIN TAN
Issuing Agency Income Tax Department The Respective State’s Commercial Tax Department  Income Tax Department
Code 10-digit Alphanumeric number 11-digit code 10-digit Alphanumeric number
Purpose Used for monetary exchanges, acts as identification proof and is used to purchase or sell real estate, vehicles, etc. Track activities related to VAT Used to calculate and collect taxes
Who should have it Taxpayers/ Non-Taxpayers, foreign nationals and entities Dealers, exporters, traders People permitted to collect or deduct tax under section 203 A
Laws Section 139A of the Income Tax Act of 1961 Different states, different laws Section 203A of the Income Tax Act of 1961
Penalty INR 10,000 Penalty vary as per the states INR 10,000
Forms to fill Indian residents need to fill out Form 49A, and NRIs are required to fill 

Form 49AA

Forms differ as per the States Form 49B
Number of Cards 1 1 1

PAN – Permanent Account Number

Each taxpayer or assessee in the nation receives a PAN or a Permanent Account Number, a 10-digit alphanumeric code that is unique. It is a mandated obligation for every entity engaging in economic activity in the nation over a specified financial threshold given by the Income Tax Department.


If you find yourself functioning as any of the following, you are eligible to apply for a PAN card.

  • Individuals falling under the taxable slab rate
  • Non-Residents of India
  • Foreign entities
  • Company
  • Students who are non-taxpayers


The applicant recognising as HUF, individual or company, etc., requires a different set of documents. A few general documents are given below. 

  • Identity proof
  • Address proof
  • Date of birth proof


A PAN card has various uses. Some of them are listed below.

  • Each financial transaction needs a PAN.
  • It serves as the person’s identity evidence.
  • It is employed for taxation purposes like filing ITR.
  • You can also use the PAN to buy or sell vehicles, real estate, and other comparable assets.
  • Carry out banking-related activities like opening bank accounts

TAN – Tax Deduction and Collection Account Number

The main function of the 10-digit alphanumeric code known as TAN or Tax Deduction and Collection Account Number is to facilitate tax deduction or collection. Each entity that deducts or collects tax is required to have a TAN and use it in their TDS or TCS paperwork.


If you find yourself functioning as any of the following, you are eligible to apply for TAN.

  • A company’s branch or division
  • Central/State Government/Local Authorities
  • Company
  • Individual business’ branches
  • Individual/HUFs
  • Firm /Association of Persons/Trusts


Applicants are not required to produce any documents while requesting a new TAN. If they apply for a new TAN online, the only document needed to submit is the self-attested acknowledgement slip.


The Tax Deduction and Collection Account Number has the following uses.

  • TAN is utilised for deductions such as wages, interest, dividends, etc
  • It can be applied to certificates, challans, and refunds.
  • It automatically records the full address of the individual who withholds taxes on the IT department’s behalf. The Postal Index Number registered with the Income Tax Department is captured.

It is prohibited for someone to own more than one TAN. However, multiple collector branches or divisions may submit separate TAN applications for each branch or division.

TIN – Taxpayer Identification Number

The Taxpayer Identification Number or TIN is an 11-digit numerical code that must be used by traders or dealers that engage in VAT-attracting activities. Every company that engages in interstate commerce is required to have a TIN. People should not mix up the phrases TIN and VAT number, which are sometimes used interchangeably.


If you find yourself functioning as any of the following, you are eligible to apply for TIN.

  • Traders
  • Manufacturers
  • Exporters
  • Dealers


The documents required for TIN vary from one state to another. However, the following listed documents are most often required.

  • Address proof like an Aadhaar card, PAN card, utility bills etc.
  • Identity proof like an Aadhaar card, passport, driving license etc
  • PAN card
  • Address proof of the location of the business 
  • Six passport-size photographs
  • Purchase invoice, collection proof with bank statement, copy of GR & Payment/LR


A document that all businesses with VAT registration are expected to have – TIN is issued by the Commercial Tax Department of each Indian State and has the following use:

  • It helps a company to monitor its transactions.
  • Every time products or services are sold within a state or between two or more states, TIN is used.
  • It is a contemporary approach to the collection, processing, supervision and accounting of direct taxes.
  • For all VAT transactions, the TIN must be provided.

Final Words

We hope you have a better understanding of the difference between PAN and TAN and TIN and that the confusion between the three terminologies of income tax has evaporated. They must mention this special identification number when performing other tax-related tasks. The filing process and the justification for filing are where PAN, TAN, and TIN diverge most. Every entrepreneur needs these figures to carry out business operations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does the TIN also go by the name VAT number?

Yes, the TIN also goes by the name VAT number.

Can I hold two TAN cards at once?

No, you cannot hold two TAN cards at once.

How does one go about getting a TIN?

The procedure to get a TIN varies from one state to another.

How do I apply online for a PAN?

You can apply for a PAN card online by visiting the official portal of TIN-NSDL or UTITSL. There are two PAN application forms on each website. Form 49AA is for foreign nationals, whereas Form 49A is for Indian citizens.

How do I apply online for a TAN?

To apply online for a TAN, you must visit the NSDL portal.

Is PAN equivalent to TIN?

No, PAN and TIN have a few major differences between them. To understand the differences in depth, kindly go through the ‘A Detailed Comparison Between PAN, TAN and TIN.

What does TAN mean on a PAN card?

TAN and PAN cards have nothing in common.

Does TAN require PAN?

No. When applying for TAN, the applicant does not require PAN.

A TAN certificate: what is it?

A TAN or Tax Deduction and Collection Account Number is identified as a distinct 10-digit alphanumeric number that must be acquired by the people liable to deduct or collect tax. For more information refer to our TAN section.