The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Friday allowed market entities to verify the permanent account number (PAN) of qualified foreign investors (QFIs) through the Income Tax (I-T) department’s website, as against the current practice of asking for their original PAN card.
The move will ease the process of obtaining PAN card details from QFIs but they will have to give on alternative identity proof.
A QFI investor is an individual, group or association resident in a foreign country that is compliant with the Financial Action Task Force standards. QFIs do not include foreign institutional investors (FIIs) / sub-accounts.
“With a view to bring about operational flexibility and in order to ease the PAN verification process, the intermediaries may verify the PAN of their clients online at the income tax website without insisting on the original PAN card, provided that the client has presented a document for proof of identity other than the PAN card,” Sebi said in a circular.
Individual foreign investors and trusts that invest directly in the capital markets need to acquire a PAN, a mandatory requirement for all tax payers.
The circular has been sent to stock brokers, depository participants, mutual funds, portfolio managers, KYC registration agencies, alternative investment funds and collective investment schemes, among others.