What is the difference between TIN, TAN, VAT, PAT, DSC and DIN?

What is the difference between TIN, TAN, VAT, PAT, DSC and DIN?

Legal & Compliance

Vakilsearch Staff

Vakilsearch Staff

146 week ago — 6 min read

If you are an entrepreneur, who is trying to start his or her own business in India, then you need to be aware of legal terms associated with it. Most businesspeople get tired of listening to words and letters such as DSC, DIN, TAN, VAT and so on. Sometimes it is hard to keep up with the barrage of letters that follow. Not everyone needs to know what all these mean before starting on their own venture. However, to run a successful business, you need to know what these words mean, and where they are used. Are you one of the many who are unsure regarding the actual meaning and usage of these terms? If so, do not worry because we have you covered! In this article, we will be taking a close look at TIN, TAN, PAT, VAT, DSN, and DIN. 


Differences between TAN, PAN, VAT, TIN, DIN, and DSC


Taxpayer Identification Number – TIN/VAT

The full form of TIN is Taxpayer Identification Number, it was previously known as the VAT/CST or Sales Tax number. This number comes directly from the Commercial Tax Department and helps in identifying individuals and companies who pay commercial tax to a State government. It is a unique eleven-digit number that is required to carry out all VAT-related transactions of a business. Furthermore, it also acts as a sort of registration number for companies that have associated themselves with the VAT agency. Before the arrival of the GST, this authority was responsible for handling the taxation on interstate sales. Therefore, the VAT or TIN is applicable for all kinds of goods such as manufactured products, export items, e-commerce products and also retail goods. However, ever since the arrival of the GST in 2017, the TIN or VAT, has been replaced by the GST or GSTIN. 


Goods and Services Tax Identification Number – GSTIN

Since 1st July 2017, every company or product which used to pay VAT or TIN has had to procure a registration under the new GST regime. Furthermore, every business or company involved in the buying and selling of goods, which is worth over INR 20 lakhs or INR 10 lakhs in certain special cases, must sign up for GST. Every business which has signed up for GST gets a GSTIN allotted to it.


Also read: Comparing GST and VAT


Tax Deduction or Collection Account Number – TAN

This ten-digit alphanumeric code is given to every entity and individual whose income gets tax deducted at source. Every business that has TDS procedures must first have a TAN registration and number, to do so. This TAN number must be mentioned in the TDS or TCS returns filed by them. If a business that conducts TDS does not have a valid TAN, it will face severe legal penalties. Once a business acquires a TAN, TDS returns must be duly filed in every quarter by the business themselves.


Permanent Account Number – PAN

The PAN is a unique ten-digit alphanumeric number that is used to identify every single taxpayer in India. This number applies to every individual, business, foreigner, trust, company, and HUF in India. It is issued by the Income Tax Department of India and is an important document that also serves as an ID proof. Any individual who wishes to start their own company must have their own valid PAN card mandatorily. Furthermore, this card is used by the IT Department to keep track of all financial transactions made, and the taxable component of those transactions. Also, this PAN card is now required to carry out large cash deposits, purchasing immovable assets and obtaining loans.


Digital Signature Certificate – DSC

Digital Signature Certificate serve as a form of electronic authorization while uploading documents. It also works as a proof of identity, whenever you are uploading personal documents online or making online transactions or filings. Departments such as the MCA, IT department, Employee Provident Fund, Foreign Trade Department and the Centre for E-Tenders generally use DSCs as authorization. These signatures come under three types- 


Class 1

Used mainly for non-governmental or low-priority cases


Class 2

Used for registering a company and filing IT returns


Class 3

Used mainly for E-Tender participation


Also read: How to apply for Digital Signature Certificate & its benefits


Director Identification Number – DIN

This unique identification number is allotted to existing Directors and Future Directors of a Company. It is an essential certificate at the time of company registration, and the DIN and DPIN, which stands for Designated Partner Identification Number are used interchangeably. The major difference between the two being that a DPIN helps in registering an LLP. DIN contains details regarding the Director of a company, and can only be issued for individuals, and not for the business as a whole. Also, both Indians and foreign citizens can apply for an Indian DIN. And the applicant must have a DSC before applying for the DIN.


Also read: How to register for GST online?


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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker.

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Vakilsearch Staff

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