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PAN Card System

What is a PAN Card?


Ever wondered what those alphabets and
numbers in your Permanent Account Number
(PAN) actually mean?
There is a lot behind the number and it actually
contains bits of your personal information, that
can tell a thing or two about you
Given it has to be used in every purchase of a
financial instrument, the PAN tells the Income Tax
departments about all your transactions
Layout of a PAN Card
Sample PAN Card
Decoding the PAN Card
The PAN number is a alpha-numeric number
made of 10 digits assigned to your identity,
mainly used for income tax related matters
The first 5 digits are alphabets, the next four
are numbers and the last is an alphabet again
First three characters
The first three characters are alphabetic series
between AAA to ZZZ
For instance, the beginning of your PAN could
be BEP or APZ; the selection is random
Fourth character
The fourth character of your PAN always represents
your status
The fourth character for a majority of PAN holders is
the letter P, which stands for person. The other
nine letters that can represent the fourth character are
C, H, F, A, T, B, L, J, and G
C stands for company. So if the PAN is in the name of
your company, its fourth character would be C. H
represents Hindu Undivided Family, F stands for
partnership firm, A is for association of persons, T
stands for trust, B for body of individuals, L represents
local authority, J means artificial juridical person and G
stands for government
Fifth character
The fifth character represents the first alphabet
of your last name or surname
For instance, somebody with the name Shivakant
Upadhyaya will have U as the fifth character on
his PAN as his last names first alphabet is U
However, if you happen to change your surname
after marriage or due to any other reason, your
PAN card number will remain unchanged
Sixth to ninth characters
The next four characters are sequential
numbers between 0001 to 9999
Like the first three characters, here too the
selection is random
Tenth character
The last and tenth character in the PAN is an
alphabetic check digit
Alphabetic check digit is generated by
applying a formula to the preceding nine
letters and numbers
Why is the classification important?
A unique number enables the income-tax
department to link all transactions of the person
with the department
These transactions include tax payments, tax
deducted at source/tax collected at source
credits, returns of income/wealth/gift, specified
transactions, correspondence and so on
PAN, thus, acts as a unique identifier of persons
for the tax department