Permanent Account Number (PAN) is a ten-digit alphanumeric number, issued in the form of a laminated tamper proof card, by the Income Tax Department of India.
The Permanent Account Number (PAN) is unique to an individual or entity and it is valid across India. Permanent Account Number once allotted to an individual or entity is unaffected by a change of name, address within or across states in India or other factors.
A typical Permanent Account Number is would look like AFZPK7190K.. The logic behind the array of numbers and alphabets is as follows:
First three characters i.e. "AFZ" in the above PAN are alphabetic series running from AAA to ZZZ.
Fourth character i.e. "P" in the above PAN represents the status of the PAN holder.
"P" stands for Individual.
"F" stands for Firm.
"C" stands for Company.
"H" stands for HUF.
"A" stands for AOP.
"T" stands for TRUST etc.
Fifth character i.e. "K" in the above PAN represents first character of the PAN holder's last name/surname.
Next four characters i.e. "7190" in the above PAN are sequential number running from 0001 to 9999.
Last character i.e. "K" in the above PAN is an alphabetic check digit.