The Income Tax Department updated the design of PAN cards recently. The newly issued PAN cards carry enhanced QR codes for additional security, however the older PAN cards are still valid. In case users wish to apply for PAN cards with QR codes, they can request for re-printing the PAN card online.

The QR codes eliminate the possibility of duplicity in cases where one person holds more than one PAN cards, which is illegal. This feature will also remove the possibility of individuals using multiple PAN cards for misuse during tax assessment. The Enhanced QR code printed on the PAN card contains a photograph and signature of PAN card applicant apart from existing generic information such as the PAN itself, name, father’s name/mother’s name, date of birth (DoB), date of incorporation/formation, in case of a business entity. All the aforementioned details are digitally signed and coded on the Enhanced QR Code.

The Enhanced QR code can be read by the mobile app Enhanced PAN QR Code Reader. Users can download the app on their smartphones to scan the code using an auto-focus camera having the resolution of 12-megapixels and above.

The positions of photograph, signature, hologram and dimension of QR code have changed. Moreover, the Enhanced QR code is also present in the e-PAN cards issued to the PAN card applicants. The photograph of the cardholder has been replaced from the lower end to top-left just below the Income Tax Department. The QR code has now been placed in place of the hologram and the hologram has been moved to the rear end of the card.

The name and father’s name has been placed just below the new position of the photograph on the left edge. The date of birth has been placed in the bottom left of the PAN card. The signature has been moved from lower left corner to the lower centre of the card.