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How PAN gives you a unique identity

As I had mentioned in my blog post 'Exposing the Permanent Account Number Obscure Facts', PAN is a unique ten-digit alphanumeric number issued by the Income Tax Department.

Let us now see how the same is created.


One. The first five characters are alphabets, next four are numbers and the 10th character is again an alphabet e.g. ABDPJ4287F.

Two. Each PAN has 5 distinct sections. In the above example, it would be ABD, P, J, 4287 and F.

Three. The first three alphabets are from a series running from AAA to ZZZ (e.g. ABD).

Four. The fourth character of PAN represents the status of the PAN holder (e.g. P for individual); wherein

    "A" : Association of Persons (AOP)

    "B" : Body of Individuals (BOI)

    "C" : Company

    "E" : Limited Liability Partnership

    "F" : Firm

    "G" : Government Agency

    "H" : Hindu Undivided Family (HUF)

    "J" : Artificial Juridical Person

    "L" : Local Authority

    "P" : Individual

    "T" : Trust

Five.  Fifth character of the PAN represents
- for individuals, the first character of the PAN holder's "surname" (e.g. J for Jain)
- for non-individuals, the first character of the PAN holder's "name"

Six. The 6th to 9th characters are sequential numbers running from 0001 to 9999 (e.g. 4287).

Seven. The 10th or the last character is an alphabetic check digit (e.g. F).

When all the five distinct sections are combined, we get a Permanent Account Number that is unique to the particular PAN holder.

In case you missed, you must also read 'New Limits for Quoting Your PAN Compulsorily' 'Quoting your PAN is mandatory when you...'



[This post was updated on Jan 20, 2016.]

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