Understanding the 10-Digit Number on Your PAN Card


The PAN (Permanent Account Number) Card is crucial for tax-related matters, serving as a unique identifier for individuals and businesses in the country. It must be included when filing income tax returns and is necessary for certain financial transactions, such as opening a bank account, investing in mutual funds, and purchasing real estate.

What Is a PAN Number?

The PAN (Permanent Account Number) is a unique 10-digit alphanumeric code issued by the Income Tax Department in India. It serves as a unique identifier for both individuals and companies for tax purposes. The IT Department issues PAN cards to applicants or assigns the number to those who qualify without an application. The PAN card is laminated for durability.

How to Read a PAN Card Number

A typical PAN number looks like AFZPK7190K, as per the information on the IT department’s official website.

First Three Letters (AFZ): These are part of an alphabetic sequence ranging from AAA to ZZZ.

Fourth Character (P): This indicates the status of the PAN holder.

"P" stands for Person

"F" for Firm

"C" for Company

"H" for HUF (Hindu Undivided Family)

"A" for AOP (Association of Persons)

"T" for Trust, etc.

Fifth Character (K): This represents the first letter of the PAN holder’s last name or surname.

Next Four Characters (7190): These are sequential numbers ranging from 0001 to 9999.

Last Character (K): This is an alphabetic check digit.

Why a PAN Card Is Required

A PAN card is essential for several reasons:

Government Benefits: To receive certain government benefits such as subsidies and pensions, an individual must have a PAN card.

Identification: In India, the PAN card is recognized as a legitimate form of identification and serves as proof of identity.

Financial Transactions: All financial transactions above a certain amount require a PAN card. For instance, a PAN must be quoted for any banking transaction involving at least Rs. 50,000.

Taxation and Financial Tracking: The PAN card is crucial for identification, financial transactions, and taxation for both individuals and companies in India. It allows the Income Tax Department to link all financial transactions to the cardholder, including tax payments, TDS/TCS credits, filing income returns, and other activities. This makes the PAN card the individual's tax identity within the department.

In summary, the PAN card is a vital document for identification, financial transactions, and tax-related purposes in India.