(PAN) is a ten digit Alpha-numeric number issued by the Income Tax department. The purpose of allotting PAN is to link financial transactions of an individual or firm with the Income Tax department. PAN facilitates linking of the various documents such as Income Tax Return, Tax Deduction at Source (TDS), Tax Arrears and Refund to an individual and acts as an identifier. It is an important mechanism to check tax evasion and to broaden the tax base. However, the ten Alpha-numeric digits of the PAN have a specific meaning.
We can take a sample PAN and find out what various digits and numbers stand for- First three characters- Alphabetic series running from AAA to ZZZ which is randomly allocated.; Fourth Character- Status of the PAN-holder. Here, P stands for surname of the PAN holder. If aperson changes the surname after marriage or for any other reason, the PAN does not change.; sixth to ninth Character- These are sequential numbers running from 0001 to 9999. This is also allocated randomly.; Tenth Character- It is the alphabetic check digit which is generated by applying a formula to the preceding nine numbers and digits.