How PAN Card Number is generated? What is PAN Number Format?

How PAN Card Number is generated? What is the format of PAN?

PAN Card is an essential card in India. But do you know how your PAN Card Number is generated? What is the format of PAN?

Don’t worry all your questions related to the format and generation of PAN will be answered in this article. So let’s start with the full form first.

The full form of PAN is Permanent Account Number.

It is mainly used for Income Tax Purposes by individual, families or corporates alike.

PAN Card is issued by the Income Tax Department of India under Section 139A of the Income Tax Act. It is used for all income tax related purposes like filing income tax return etc. It is also used as a proof of identification.

PAN Card Structure:

1. PAN is a unique 10 digit alpha-numeric identifier.

2. Basically, a PAN Card consists of your name, your father’s name, your date of birth and the unique PAN.

Sample PAN Card
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

3. The first five characters of the PAN are alphabets which are followed by 4 numerals, and the last character is also an alphabet/letter used to check the validity of that code.

4. The first three characters of the PAN form a sequence of letters starting from AAA to ZZZ.

5. The fourth character of the PAN represents the status of the PAN Cardholder:

  • P means person or individual
  • C means company
  • F means firm
  • T means Trust (AOP)
  • A means AOP (Association of Persons)
  • B means BOI (Body of Individuals)
  • G means Government
  • H means Hindu Undivided Family (HUF)
  • L means Local Authority
  • J means Artificial Juridical Person
  • E means LLP (Limited Liability Partnership)

Both AOP and BOI are interchangeably used but are a little bit different from each other.

The similarity between AOP and BOI is that both are treated as a ‘person’ under section 2(31)​ of the Income-tax Act, 1931.

The difference between AOP and BOI is that AOP can be a company or a person, but BOI has to be a group of individuals only. It cannot be a company.

6. The fifth character represents your surname if you are an individual. It simply means that if the fourth character in PAN is “P”, then fifth character represents surname/last name.

The second scenario is that if the PAN does not belong to an individual, then it represents the name of the entity, company, trust or society. It means that if the fourth character is other than “P”, then the fifth character represents the name of the entity, company, trust or society.

7. The sixth to ninth characters of the PAN are numerals. Basically, these are sequential numbers starting from 0001 to 9999.

8. The last character of the PAN is a checksum calculated on the basis of the preceding 9 characters using a formula. However, the PAN Card check digit formula is not available for the common people. It is calculated by a software, and its algorithm is intentionally protected so that it cannot be misused.

You can understand more clearly about the format and structure of PAN Card Number and how it is generated by the example below:

Example of PAN: AFZPK7190K

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