What are AO Codes for Pan and How to Find Them?

Learn about AO codes for PAN cards - unique identifiers by the Income Tax Department. Understand elements, types, finding online, and how it is determined for an individual.

While applying for a new PAN card one important field that needs to be filled is the AO code. An AO (Assessing Officer) code in a PAN (Permanent Account Number) card is a unique alphanumeric identifier assigned by the Income Tax Department of India. The AO code for PAN helps classify taxpayers based on their geographical location and assists tax authorities in assessing and managing tax-related matters effectively.

In this article, learn about the elements of an AO code, its types, how to find your AO code online along how your AO code is determined.

Elements of an AO Code for a PAN Card

An AO code consists of several elements that help uniquely identify a taxpayer’s (company or individual) jurisdiction and facilitate efficient tax administration. When all these elements are combined they form a unique AO code for each taxpayer. The elements of an AO in a PAN card typically include:

  1. Area Code: A code of 3 letters is assigned to an area to identify the geographical location of a company or an individual.
  2. AO Type: This helps the tax department in identifying whether the PAN cardholder is an individual, a company, or an individual who is not an Indian resident.
  3. Range Type: Based on the PAN cardholder’s address, a range type is issued according to the circle or ward they live in.
  4. AO Number: This is a unique number assigned by Protean eGov Technologies Limited (Formerly NSDL).

AO Codes Types in a PAN Card

There are four different types of AO codes and the details of each type of AO code are as follows:

  1. International Taxation: This applies to companies or individuals applying for a PAN card who are not established in India or are Indian residents.
  2. Non-International Taxation (Mumbai): This applies to companies or individuals that are based out of India but not in Mumbai.
  3. Non-International Taxation (Outside Mumbai): This applies to companies or individuals that are based out of India and are in Mumbai.
  4. Defence Personnel: The AO codes under this as for individuals who are identified as a member of the Air Force or the Indian Army.

How To Find AO Codes Online?

You can find the AO codes online on different Government portals like NSDL, UTIITSL, or Income Tax.

Find AO Code Online Through the NSDL Website

Follow the steps below to fund the AO code online through the NSDL website:

  1. Go to the NSDL e-Gov portal and search for the AO code page.
  2. Select your residence city.
  3. A list of AO codes of your city will be displayed.
  4. Select the right AO code based on your details and click on Submit.

Find AO Code Online Through the UTIITSL Website

Follow the steps below to fund the AO code online through the UTIITSL website:

  1. Visit the UTIITSL website.
  2. In the menu bar, find ‘PAN Card Services’ and select ‘Search for AO Code Details’.
  3. Select the right AO code type and click on ‘View Details’.
  4. Select your city name according to the alphabet of the city.
  5. You’ll get a list of AO codes with all the elements.

Find AO Code Online Through the Income Tax Portal

This is for individuals with an existing PAN card and who want to check their AO code.

  1. Visit the official Income Tax portal
  2. Login to your account
  3. Go to the ‘My Profile’ section that is displayed by clicking on your name displayed on the right side of the page.
  4. Go to ‘Jurisdiction Details’ from the menu on the left side
  5. You’ll get all your AO code details

How Is the AO Code Determined for Your PAN Card?

The AO code for a PAN card is determined depending on what type of taxpayer you are and your address. Here are the conditions that determine your AO codes:

  • For individual taxpayers whose primary income source is salary or a combination of business earnings and salary, the AO code is based on the official address.
  • For individual taxpayers with income sources other than salary, the AO code will be based on the home address.
  • For Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), Association of Persons, Body of Individuals, Trust, Company, Local Authority, Government Body, Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), Partnership Firm, or Artificial Juridical Person, the AO code will be decided as per your office address.


AO code is an important and mandatory section when applying for a PAN card in India. It helps the tax authorities in accurately processing tax returns, conducting assessments, and managing other tax-related activities based on the taxpayer’s location and category.


Can we change the AO code on a PAN card?

Yes, it is possible to change the AO code in a PAN card. This might be necessary if there is a change in your jurisdiction, residential address, or other circumstances that affect your tax assessment. To change the AO code, you would need to submit a request for correction or modification to the Income Tax Department by contacting the local office.

What is the AO code for unemployed individuals?

There is no AO code for unemployed individuals. So unemployed individuals applying for a PAN card can leave the AO code section blank and choose a salary less than the specified amount.

What is the AO code for students?

There is no AO code for students. If you are a student and applying for a PAN card, you can leave the AO code section blank. An AO code will be allotted by the reviewing authorities as per your postal code.

What do C and W stand for in an AO code?

In an AO code, ‘C’ usually represents the ‘Circle’ or region, and ‘W’ stands for ‘Ward’. These components help identify the geographic jurisdiction and specific area within that jurisdiction for tax assessment purposes

How many AO codes are assigned to a single PAN card?

There is only a single AO code associated with one PAN card. And if you have your jurisdiction or residential address changed that can affect your tax assessment, you can get your AO number for a PAN card changed accordingly.