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.
The issuance of PAN, verification, delivery and maintenance works on public-private partnership (PPP) model like Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) for reasons of economy, efficiency, and effectiveness. The reputed entities like NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited (formerly National Securities Depository Limited) and UTI Infrastructure Technology Services Limited (UTIITSL) has been entrusted by Income Tax Department as managed service providers for processing of applications, collecting, handling and verifying personal documents like proof of ID, age and address, clarification with the applicants, printing the card and the letter and then mailing it.
The processing agencies obtain the new PAN number online from the server of the income tax department after successful processing of the application documents. Some critics in India may call the handling, processing, and delivery of personal ID and financial documents by private contractors as a violation of privacy.