There are crores taxpayers who filed their income tax returns, in order to assess each taxpayer, they are divided into income tax wards/circles across the country. An Assessing Officer (AO) is assigned to each Income Tax Ward/Circle who assess the tax filing return.
Income taxpayers are divided into various offices and areas for better management. Each income tax officer is assigned a specific area and a specific category of taxpayers. Income tax ward and circle are sub-categorisation under an area in order to locate the assigned assessing officer for a particular taxpayer. Range determines the income range of the taxpayer.
‘An AO is an income tax officer who has jurisdiction to make an assessment of a taxpayer (assessee). The assessing officer has the official power for giving judgments, making assessments, and making decisions for the Income Tax issues. Assessing officers can also ask the taxpayer to provide books of account and other details for tax verification.
AO code is the Assessing Officer’s code under whose jurisdiction the applicant’s ITR will fall. This code has to be mentioned in the form when applying for a PAN card. Such applicants have to provide the AO code in the application which can be obtained from the Income Tax Office.
There are basically two ways by which you can find out your income tax ward/circle and what it means for you.
Method-1: By entering PAN details and OTP
Under this method you have to visit the Income Tax Department’s PAN Portal then enter your PAN and registered mobile number and click on the “Submit” button. After this an OTP will be sent to the number mentioned in the above step. Enter the OTP and click on the “Validate” button. Then your Jurisdictional AO details will be displayed on the screen.
Method-2: By entering PAN details, password and captcha code
As per this method you need to visit the Tax Department’s Portal and log-in your e-filing tax account by entering PAN details, password and captcha code. Once you have logged in, go to the ‘Profile Settings’ tab and click on ‘My Profile’. By default, your ‘Contact Details’ page will open. From there you need to further click on the ‘PAN Details’ tab.
Once you have clicked on the PAN detail tab, you can view the ‘Jurisdiction Details’ as mentioned below. And from there you can view your Income Tax Ward/Circle.
Under the jurisdiction details (Income Tax Ward/Circle), you can check the Area Code, AO type, Range Code, AO Number, Jurisdiction’s address and the email ID. Hence, you should know that this Income Tax Officer will be checking your Income Tax Return.