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Who is an Assessing officer? How do you find your Assessing Officer?

Updated on: May 30th, 2024

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3 min read

Every taxpayer is assigned a jurisdictional assessing officer(AO) based on the address mentioned in his Permanent Account Number (PAN) record and his income, to enable smooth and efficient assessment. Any communication from the income tax department to the taxpayer and from the taxpayer to the AO happens only through jurisdictional AO. A jurisdictional AO is an assigned income tax officer for every taxpayer.  

Who is an Assessing Officer?

Tax returns that are either processed or unprocessed by CPC may require further detailed enquiry to ensure the correctness of the returned income and also to discover intentional/unintentional errors if any. This process of a detailed examination of return of income is called ‘assessment’.

An Individual officer of the Income Tax Department who is entrusted with this task of assessment is called an ‘Assessing Officer (AO)’.  An AO is an income tax officer who has jurisdiction to make an assessment of a taxpayer (assessee) who is liable to tax under the Act.

Following is the list of ranks in the income tax department in India:

  • Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax or Principal Director General of Income Tax
  • Chief Commissioner of Income Tax or Director General of Income Tax
  • Principal Commissioner of Income Tax or ADG/Principal Director of Income Tax
  • Commissioner of Income Tax or Additional Director General/Director of Income Tax
  • Additional Commissioners of Income Tax or Additional Director of Income Tax
  • Joint Commissioner of Income Tax or Joint Director of Income Tax
  • Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax or Deputy Director of Income Tax
  • Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax or Assistant Director of Income Tax

The  AO who will handle your return filed by you may vary according to the volume of income/nature of trade as assigned by the Central Board of Direct Tax (CBDT or Board).  

What is the Importance of Having an Assessing Officer?

As mentioned above, an AO is required to examine the income tax return in detail to ensure its correctness, keeping in mind the income tax law provisions, various circulars, notifications, instructions issued by the Board, and the application of mind in interpreting the same.

In this process, the AO may recompute the taxpayer's taxable income. For this purpose, the AO has the authority to ask for books of accounts, various other supporting documents, or any other details from the taxpayer for verification. This is initiated by issuing a notice to the taxpayer. Once the assessment is complete, the assessment order and tax demand, if any, are also served on the taxpayer.

Further, taxpayers may also write to the income tax department for any of their concerns such as rectification of return, issue of refund, etc.

What is the Purpose of  Jurisdiction?

A jurisdiction becomes imperative for all kinds of correspondence from the income tax department and to the income tax department from the taxpayer. The jurisdiction of the AO is the geographical area for which AO has his rights and duties. The assessee will either be covered under a range or a circle depending on the income.

What is the Procedure to Find Jurisdictional AO, AO Code, etc?

Procedure to find Jurisdictional AO without Logging into Your Profile 

Step 1: Visit the Income Tax Portal, and under the ‘Quick Links’ section. Click on ‘Know Your AO’. 

Income tax portal quick links

Step 2: On the ‘Know your Jurisdiction Assessing Officer’ page, you will have to enter your PAN and mobile number registered. Click on ‘Submit’. 

Know your jurisdiction officer

Step 3: You will be led to a verification page, where you will receive an OTP on your registered mobile number. Enter the OTP 

OTP verification

Your AO details will be displayed

AO details

Procedure to find Jurisdiction AO by Logging in

Step 1: Log in to your profile on Income Tax E-filling using your PAN and password.

Income tax department

Step 2: Click on ‘My Profile’ under the profile settings.  

My profile inincome tax department

Step 3: Under your profile, click on ‘Jurisdiction details’ 

Jurisdiction details

and you will receive your AO details.

AO details

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of AO officer?

An AO officer is appointed to assess a taxpayer's income.

Can I know my AO code using PAN?

Yes, you can know your AO code by logging in to the NSDL account and follow the required procedure.

How can we contact assessing officer?
  1. 1800 103 0025.
  2. 1800 419 0025.
  3. 1800 103 4215.
  4. 1800 103 0344.
  5. 1800 309 0130. +91 821 6671200.

These are the numbers how you can contact your AO.

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