Friday, January 16, 2015

Getting an Indian PAN card for a Georgia S-Corporation

Our S-corporation is doing business for an Indian company. To get paid, we need an Indian Permanent Account Number (PAN) number. We just received our number.

Since this process was confusing, I wanted to help others by documenting the steps I followed. I tried to be as accurate as possible in the instructions but did not repeat the process, since I did not want to apply for a second card. Let me know if you find this article helpful.

Cost

It cost our business about $35 to apply for a PAN card ($10 for Certified Articles of Incorporation, $5 for apostille of Articles of Incorporation and postage, $16 for PAN card fee, $4 for postage of documents to India).

One of the parts of the process that confused me was the websites for multiple offices of the Consulate General of India lists steps for getting a PAN card and fees of $60 if applying in person or $80 if applying by mail. I followed the process below instead.

Time

It took me about a month to complete the process. I used regular postage to get documents apostilled and to mail documents to India. I started the process in mid-December and we received the number in mid-January by email. We are still waiting for the physical card. The holidays might have affected the processing time in India.

Reference Links

India Income Tax Department PAN information

PDF version of for 49AA:Application for Permanent Account Number

Instructions for form 49AA: Application for Permanent Account Number

Documents required for PAN card

PAN application status tracking

Directions
  1. Get a certified copy of your Certificate of Incorporation from Georgia Secretary of State
    • Log on to your Georgia Secretary of State Corporations Division account (i.e., cGov360 account) at cgov.sos.state.ga.us
    • Under the Business Fillings tab from the Misc. column, select Web Certified Copies from the Document Order option. A page is displayed stating "a certificate attached to a copy of a document or electronic transmission filed by the Secretary of State, bearing his or her signature and the printed or embossed seal of this state, or its electronic equivalent, is prima-facie evidence that the original document has been filed with the Secretary of State". This means that the copy you pay for and download from this site is a certified copy. I printed a copy of this page to be sent in to be apostilled with the certified Articles of Incorporation. Click on the Next button to be taken to the Filer page.
    • From the Filer page, click Organization and enter Company Name and fill in the Complete Mailing Address section. Click the Add Filer button.
    • From the Select Documents page, enter part of your business name in the Inquiry box, select Entity Name as Search Type and click on Contains for Search Depth. Click on the Search button.
    • From the Search Results, select the Articles of Incorporation Document Type. Nothing will change on the screen. Click the Next button.
    • On the Validation page, you should see your business as the Filer and Articles of Incorporation as the Select Copies. Click the Next button.
    • The Payment page is displayed showing the amount due is $10, select Credit Card as the Payment Type and click the Next button.
    • Update credit card information on the Payment page.
    • Then you receive your copies as an electronic document with a cover sheet from the secretary of state stating "that the attached documents are true and correct copies of documents maintained by the Corporations Division of the Office of the Secretary of State of Georgia".
  2. Get the certified copy of the Articles of Incorporation apostilled.
    • In Georgia, the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority can apostille the documents for India since India is a participant of the Hague Treaty Convention 12. Even though the webpage General Apostille Information states that Corporate documents on file with the Georgia Secretary of State Corporations Division must be certified copies issued directly from the Corporations Division office and that apostilles are not issued on downloaded documents from the internet. The downloaded certified copies I paid for were apostilled.
    • Download, print out, and fill in the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority Apostille Request Form.
    • Mail the completed form, the documents, payment ($3), and a self-addressed stamped envelope for document return.
  3. Fill out on-line PAN card application.
    • For a foreign business, you will need to fill out Form 49AA, Online Application for New PAN (Form 49AA). For an S-corporation, I selected Firm in the Apply for New PAN Card box and clicked the Select button.
    • Fill in the Application for Allotment of Permanent Account Number.
    • International Taxation AO details: I am unsure about the appropriate way to fill out the way to fill in the Area Code, AO Type, Range Code, and AO Number. Rereading the instructions, I would select the default DLC-C-35-1 code mentioned in the instructions paragraphs. I selected a different code on our application.
    • Question 5 Date of Incorporation: Enter day first and then month and year
    • Question 7 Address: I entered our business name for both the Name of Office and Name of Premises/Building/Village.
    • Question 9 Telephone No.: Do not use spaces in phone number.
    • Question 10 Status of Applicant: For an S-corporation, I selected firm.
    • Question 15 Documents enclosed: I used "Copy of certificate of Registration issued in the country where the applicant is located, duly attested by 'Apostitle' or by the Indian embassy/High Commission/Consulate in the country where the applicant is located or authorized officials of overseas branches of Scheduled Banks registered in India" for both proof of identity and proof of address.
    • Question 17(g) Taxpayer Identification Number in the country of residence: For place, enter United States
    • Payment Details:I selected Credit Card. My attempts to charge the 971 rupee fee, about $16, to our business VISA failed using the Citibank / BillDesk Payment gateway failed. I was able to use the transaction number provided to charge the fee to a personal VISA.
    • Once your payment is accepted, you get an Acknowledgement for request for new PAN card (Form 49AA) pdf that contains your Acknowledgement Number.
  4. Mail forms to India
    • Mail Apostilled copy of your Articles of Incorporation and a copy of the Acknowledgement for request for new PAN card to the address noted in the acknowledgement pdf. It cost us about $4 to send the documents to India by first class mail.
    • Use the acknowledgement number to track track the status of your PAN card request, Pan Status Track.The status changes from waiting for papers to under review to dispatched. I also received emails stating the status
    • You need to sign for the PAN card when it arrives.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pinckneyville Garden Iced Mint Tea

Plenty of mint is growing in the Pinckneyville Middle School garden. Teachers enjoyed this refreshing drink at a spring garden breakfast. Stop by on Open House day this Thursday for a sample. The following recipe makes 1/2 gallon of tea.

Sugar

I like the tea made with 1/3 cup of sugar. Some of the students preferred a sweeter version made with 1/2 cup of sugar. If you plan to serve it over lots of ice, use more sugar.

Ingredients
1/3 - 1/2CupsSugar
2/3CupsFresh mint leaves, lightly packed
2CupsBoiling Water
6CupsCool Water
Directions
  1. Rinse mint leaves in cool water to remove dirt. Remove leaves from stems, and lightly pack leaves in the measuring cup.
  2. Dissolve sugar in boiling water. Add mint leaves and seep for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Strain leaves and add cool water to make 1/2 gallon.
  4. Refrigerate until cool. If desired, serve over ice.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Heavenly Hash Cake

Heavenly hash topHeavenly hash side

When I was growing up this was one of my favorite desserts. The candy like marshmallow chocolate topping helps the cake stay fresh. As part of its College Care service, my mom's business, Nancy's Corner, used to deliver this cake to local college students. I made this cake for my daughter's birthday this year. To test that it ships well, I sent one to my nephew for his 7th birthday.

My mom uses the "Heavenly Hash Cake" recipe from The Cotton Country Collection cookbook by the Junior League of Monroe, LA. I started with the NOPSI recipe from the cookbook From Woodstoves to Microwaves Cooking with Entergy. After consulting with my mom, I came up with my version for an 8"x8" cake based on these recipes. I substituted flour and baking powder for self-rising flour, heated the milk and butter before adding it to the powdered sugar and cocoa, and used large marshmallows.

Recipe Name

The recipe reminds me of the chocolate marshmallow Elmer's Heavenly Hash eggs I received in my Easter basket every year when I was young.

Helpful Hints

For the chocolate topping, heat the butter with the evaporated milk before adding to powdered sugar and cocoa. This results in a pourable frosting. Mixing cold or room temperature milk with the butter can cause the butter to re-solidify resulting in a lumpy topping.

Cut your marshmallows in advance, so they slightly melt when put on on cake.

Ingredients
1/2CupButter, one stick
1CupSugar
2Eggs
1TspVanilla
3/4CupWhite flour
1/8CupCocoa powder
3/4TspBaking powder
21-24Large marshmallows, about 1/2 a 10 ounce bag
2CupsPowdered sugar
1/8CupCocoa powder
1/8CupButter, 2 Tbsps
1/4CupEvaporated Milk
Directions
  1. Grease and flour an 8" x 8" baking pan.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Sift together flour, 1/8 cup cocoa powder, and baking powder.
  4. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until smooth.
  6. Add vanilla and mix.
  7. Slowly add sifted ingredients and mix.
  8. Pour the thick batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Bake 30 to 35 minutes.
  10. While baking, cut marshmallows in half using kitchen scissors.
  11. Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, put cut marshmallows on top of cake in a single layer, cut side down.
  12. For topping, sift together powder sugar and 1/8 cup cocoa powder.
  13. Heat butter and evaporated milk until butter is melted. I do this in a cup in the microwave.
  14. Using an electric mixer, mix butter and milk into sugar and cocoa until smooth.
  15. Pour topping on top of marshmallows.
  16. Allow to sit overnight or until topping is hard.
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Oatmeal Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is the chocolate chip cookie recipe I use. It is based on the "Everybody-Loves-Chocolate-Chip Cookies" recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens Cookies for Kids cookbook. I added instant oats to the recipe and replaced part of the white flour with wheat flour. I think the wheat flour and oats give the cookies a nutty flavor even if there are no nuts in the cookies. I always use butter when I make these cookies.

For variety, use a different type of baking chip or a combination of chips. On Saturday, I made a regular batch for my daughter to share with her winter guard team. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped up Wilton Candy Cane Colorburst Melts, and Holiday Mint M&M's. in the batch I sent to my son who is taking the first part of the CPA exam on Friday,

This recipe make about 4 dozen 2" cookies or 3 dozen 3" cookies. Note the different bake times in the recipe.

Brown Sugar

Brown sugar should be firmly packed in the cup when measuring it.

Pinch

A pinch is just a little bit or about 1/8 a teaspoon

Ingredients
1/2CupButter, 1 stick
1/2CupVegetable shortening
1CupBrown sugar
1/2CupSugar
2Eggs
1 1/2TspsVanilla
1TspBaking soda
PinchSalt
1/2CupInstant oats
1CupWheat flour
1 1/2CupsWhite flour
1CupChocolate chips
1/2CupNuts, chopped, or extra chocolate chips
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, shortening, brown sugar, and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until blended.
  4. Add pinch of salt, baking soda, and oats to creamed mixture. Mix well.
  5. Mix in wheat flour.
  6. Mix in white flour.
  7. Batter is stiff. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts by hand.
    Cookie Batter
  8. For 2" cookies, rolls balls about 1 1/4" in diameter and place on baking sheets. For 3" cookies, roll balls about 1 1/2" in diameter. I bake 12 cookies on a AirBake cookie sheet.
    Cookies on Trap
  9. Bake 2" cookies about 10-12 minutes and 3" cookies, 12-14 minutes.
  10. Immediately remove from pan.
    Baked 2" Cookies

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Cinnamon Nut Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Nut Coffee Cake

When I was growing up, my mom occasionally made Bisquick Streusel Coffee Cake for a breakfast treat. Since I usually do not have Bisquick, I was happy to find a similar Coffee Cake recipe in the February 2001 issue of Family Fun magazine.

I altered my version by using part wheat flour and adding an extra tablespoon of butter in the batter. In the topping, I reduced the cinnamon and added nutmeg. I also increased the baking time since my cake takes 40 to 45 minutes to bake versus the 25 to 30 in the original recipe.

Ingredients
1 1/3 CupsWhite flour
2/3 CupWheat flour
1 TspBaking powder
1/2 TspBaking soda
1/2 TspSalt
3/4 CupSugar
2 TbspsMelted butter
1 Egg, room temperature
1 1/2 CupsButtermilk
Topping
1/3 CupBrown sugar
1/2 CupChopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
1 TspGround cinnamon
1/4 TspGround nutmeg
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix brown sugar, chopped nuts, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix white flour, wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl, mix melted butter, egg, and buttermilk.
  5. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to mix. Pour the batter into the cake pan.
  6. Sprinkle topping evenly over batter. Press topping gently into batter so that it is moist. If the topping is too dry, it crumbles off the cake. If desired, run a knife through the batter and topping to get a swirl effect.
  7. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Indian Tofu with Cream Sauce

Tofu in Indian cream sauce

My vegetarian daughter came home from college this past weekend. I used the other half of a batch of Indian Cream Sauce with Garlic, Ginger, and Tomatoes that I had stored in the freezer to prepare this dish.

The dish is a variation of my standard Indian company entree, chicken with cream sauce. The tofu version has an extra 1/4 teaspoon black pepper added to the sauce. My husband, daughter, and I enjoyed the meal. I am looking forward to trying the sauce with paneer and boiled eggs.

Ingredients
1 LbFirm tofu, cut into 1" cubes, about 32 cubes
1 TspSalt for marinade
2 TspsGround cumin
1 TspGround coriander
1/2 TspGround turmeric
1/2 TspGround red or cayenne pepper
2 TbspsVegetable oil for marinade
3-5 TbspsVegetable oil, for browning tofu, as needed
4 cupsIndian cream sauce with garlic, ginger, and tomatoes
1/2 CupWater
1/2 Cupheavy cream
1 TspSalt for sauce
2 TspsGaram masala
1/4 TspGround black pepper
3-6 PodsCardamon, lightly crushed, optional
Directions
  1. Put tofu pieces in a flat container with a lid. Mix 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne in small bowl. Sprinkle spices on top of tofu. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, cover, and shake to mix. Put in fridge, and marinate overnight or for at least one hour.
    Marinating tofu
  2. In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil on medium high. Add as many tofu pieces as will fit in a single layer. Turn to brown on all sides. Remove browned pieces. Continue until all tofu is browned. Add more oil as needed.
  3. Add water and Indian cream sauce to pot. Bring to a simmer. Add tofu, and simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Add cream, 1 teaspoon of salt, black pepper, garam masala, and cardamon pods, if desired. Simmer for about 10 minutes until sauce is slightly thick and creamy. Stir often.
  5. Adjust seasonings to taste before serving. Serve over rice.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Indian Chicken with Cream Sauce

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One of my standard Indian company dishes is chicken with cream sauce. Since my kids are vegetarian, I developed a cream sauce recipe that can be used for both a chicken dish and a vegetarian dish. This recipe uses the cream sauce described in my previous post Indian Cream Sauce with Garlic, Ginger, and Tomatoes.

Chicken

I usually buy chicken leg quarters in a 10 pound bag. The quarters are tasty and a good value. I use the chicken skin for stock and cut thighs into 2 pieces.

My husband and I were joking that there are 10 leg/thigh pieces in a 10 pound bag. This is about right. The last time we bought chicken, there were 11 leg quarters in the 10 pound bag.

Chicken stock

It is easy to make chicken stock. Cover chicken skin and bones with water. Add onions, and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer. When stock is done, stain off liquid and refrigerate. The fat will rise to the top and can be removed the next day.

I think stock tastes better if you simmer it for a long time, 2 or more hours. My husband prefers to simmer his only 1 hour. When I made stock for this dish, I added garlic and ginger to the stock to repeat the garlic and ginger flavors of the tomato sauce.

Ingredients
3 LbsChicken, about 3-4 leg quarters, skinned and cut in pieces
1 TspSalt
2 TspsCumin
1 TspCoriander
1/2 TspTurmeric
1/2 TspGround red or cayenne pepper
4-6 TbspsVegetable oil
4 CupsIndian cream sauce with garlic, ginger, and tomatoes
1 CupChicken stock or water
1/2 CupHeavy cream
1 TspSalt
2 TspsGaram masala
3-6 PodsCardamon, lightly crushed, optional
Directions
  1. Skin chicken and cut into pieces. Put in bowl to marinate. Prick with a knife.
  2. Mix 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne in small bowl. Sprinkle spices on top of chicken. Put in fridge, and let marinate overnight or for at least one hour.
  3. In a large pot, heat oil on medium high. Add as many chicken pieces as fit in single layer and brown pieces on all sides, 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. Remove browned pieces. Continue until all pieces are browned. Add more oil as needed.
  4. Add 1 cup chicken stock and Indian cream sauce to pot. Bring to a simmer. Add chicken, and simmer 20-30 minutes until chicken is cooked.
  5. Remove chicken. Bring sauce to a boil and cook to thicken, about 10 minutes. Stir sauce often to prevent sticking.
  6. Add cream, 1 teaspoon of salt, garam masala, and cardamon pods, if desired. Simmer for about 10 minutes until sauce is slightly thick and creamy. Stir often. The dish can be prepared ahead up to this point.
  7. To serve, bring sauce to a simmer. Add chicken and heat until warm. Adjust seasonings to taste before serving. Serve over rice.