Know Your AO Code for PAN : How to Find AO Code and Types

Know Your AO Code for PAN : How to Find AO Code and Types

If you fall under the income tax slab bracket or carry out business, provide services, or make high-value transactions, a PAN Card is a must-have. You can’t file Income Tax Returns without a PAN (Permanent Account Number), which will attract penalties. Hence, it is essential to get one if you don’t have one already. While applying for a PAN, you will come across several terms you might not know, such as AO Code for PAN Card, etc.

This blog can be the guidebook you may be looking for to know what an AO code for PAN Card is, how to find it, and what significance it holds.  

What is an AO Code?

AO Code is the code assigned to the Assessing Officer under whose jurisdiction the ITR of the applicant falls. It is a combination of four components: Area Code, Range Code, AO Number, and AO Type. 

Applicants applying for PAN cards have to input their AO code in their application. One can obtain details regarding PAN AO Code from the Income Tax Office. You can search your AO code based on the provided description if you are getting a new PAN. 

AO stands for Assessing Officer. 

AO Codes for PAN

When you apply for a new PAN Card, you are asked to provide an AO code. You must enter it at the top of the application form for the new PAN. An AO code usually consists of four elements: Area Code, AO Number, AO Type, and Range Code. 

The Code is meant to specify the tax jurisdiction under which the ITR of the applicant lies. The relevance of this code in specifying jurisdiction is closely associated with taxation. These codes help the appropriate authorities to determine the appropriate tax laws applicable to the applicant. 

If the applicant is a citizen of India, they would be obligated to pay Income Tax depending on the tax slabs they fall in. However, if the applicant is a corporation, the taxation rules and tax slabs may differ. Such disparities in tax payment can also exist among citizens as the AO Codes for regular applicants and those serving in the Air Force or Army will differ. 

Therefore, the right AO Code for PAN is essential to ensure companies and people are taxed fairly based on the specified rules. 

Who is an AO?

AO or Assessing Officer is a person who assesses the income tax returns filed by the taxpayers. The Income Tax Department is accountable for appointing an AO. If the officer discovers any disparity in the ITR filed, the AO possesses the power to demand clarification in the return file. 

The assessing officer is appointed throughout the country, and their jurisdiction can be found depending on their income tax circle/ward.

How to Find AO Code for PAN for Your City?

While applying for a new PAN Card, you must initiate the AO Code Search for PAN. Below are the steps you can follow to find the AO Code for your city: 

Step 1: Visit the official portal of NSDL’s PAN and click on the link for the PAN AO Code Search process.  

Step 2: Choose the city of your residence. 

Step 3: The page will display the list of AO codes for the city chosen. 

Step 4: Read the description in front of various Wards/ Circle/ Range/ Commissioner and choose the appropriate AO code. 

Step 5: Click on the ‘Submit’ button available at the bottom of the page. 

Search AO Code for Top Cities in India

The AO code differs for different cities. NSDL (National Securities Depository Limited) has established distinct web pages for every city that contain details on the AO code for PAN Card for various wards, circles, etc. Links to them are as follows: 

Cities Direct Link to Official Website
AO Code for Gurgaon
AO Code for Delhi
AO Code for Mumbai
AO Code for Bangalore
AO Code for Hyderabad
AO Code for PATNA
AO Code for Kolkata
AO Code for Ahmedabad
AO Code for Chennai

Components of an AO Code

An AO Code consists of the following:

    • Area Code: It’s a three-letter code allocated to a region where the Assessing Officer has his jurisdiction. The code is assigned to an area to identify the geographical location of a company or person.
    • AO Type: It’s the form of an Assessing Officer who assists the tax department in determining if the PAN Card holder is a corporation, an individual, a person who doesn’t reside in India (NRI), or a service worker. AO types are further classified into categories: Ward, Circle, Range or Commissioner.
    • Range Code: It’s a code issued to each PAN card bearer depending on their real address. It assists in determining the circle or ward in which they reside. The Range Code also tells you where the Assessing Officer works.
    • AO Number: The final element of AO Codes assigned to the AO. It is a numeral value issued by NSDL. 

How to Determine the Jurisdictional Assessing Officer Information?

Before you furnish any information about the AO Code, you must know under whose jurisdiction your ITR falls. We have listed a few steps that will help you identify the jurisdiction AO of your area:

Step 1: Navigate to the official portal of Income Tax Department e-filing

Step 2: Click on the ‘Know Your AO’ link in the ‘Quick Links’ section. 

Step 3: You will be directed to a new “Know Your Jurisdictional Assessing Officer” page. 

Step 4: Furnish your PAN detail and registered mobile number. Then, click on the ‘Continue’ button. 

Step 5: You will get an OTP on your registered phone number.  Fill in the OTP and click on ‘Validate’. 

Step 6: Your Jurisdictional details, including Area Type, AO Type, Range Code, AO Number, Taxpayer Jurisdiction, etc., will be displayed on the screen.

Types of AO Codes

Primarily, AO codes are categorised into four types based on the type or area in which the entity is working. The tax implication for each AO code varies; hence, different AOs are assigned ITR assessment tasks depending on the type of assessee. 

There are four types of AO Codes as mentioned below:

International Taxation: Such taxation applies to any entity, including any non-resident Indian or a company registered in a foreign national. 

Non-International Taxation (Outside Mumbai): Such AO code applies to people or businesses registered anywhere in India but in Mumbai. 

Non-International Taxation (Mumbai Region): This AO code applies to companies and individuals registered in Mumbai. 

Defence Personnel: As the name suggests, defence personnel is a type of AO code applicable for applicants who are members of the Indian Air Force or Indian Army.

FAQ's About Pan Card AO Code

What is the AO Code for students?

Students don’t have any AO Codes.

What is the AO code for a non-employed person on a PAN card?

In the case of a non-employed person, the applicant isn’t issued an AO Code.

How can I get my AO code changed?

Until you change your residential address, you cannot change your AO code. However, if you are changing your address, you can send an application to your present Assessing Officer describing the reason for the address change. Then, write an application to a new AO to change the AO code. 

The new AO will apply to the existing Assessing Officer for his AO change. If your current AO accepts the application, he will send it to the Income Tax Commissioner. If the Commissioner approves of the same, you will get a new AO code. 

How should I search my area code for PAN?

You can simply go to the official website of the e-filing Income Tax Department. Go to the ‘Profile Settings’ and then click ‘PAN Card. The page will display all the data, including AO Code, AO Type, Range Code, AO Number, and more.

Can I change my AO code?

No, you cannot change your AO code unless your residential address has changed.

How do I update my AO code for PAN?

You need to make an application to both your existing AO and current AO and request to change your AO code. This is applicable only when you have changed your home address.

How can I determine a PAN card application's AO type and AO Code? Do I have to choose anyone listed for my state?

All these can be viewed on the official portal of the Income Tax Department e-filing website. Simply click on ‘Find My AO’ and furnish your PAN info and registered mobile number. The entire Jurisdiction detail will be displayed to you.

Yes, the AO code differs for different states and cities. Therefore, you must choose the relevant one that applies to you.

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