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Correcting the Invalid Surname Error on e-Filing Portal

Updated on :  

08 min read.

When you are trying to register on the e-filing website of the income tax department to file your returns, you may come across some error messages. Two such error messages are ‘Invalid Surname. Please retry.’ and ‘Invalid First Name. Please retry.’ If this is stopping you from completing the registration process, here is the solution.

Why does such errors occur?

The name entered in the e-filing portal must match with the order of first name and surname as per the PAN card issued to an individual. If they are not entered correctly as per the name appearing in the PAN card, you may not be able to register yourself on the e-filing website. You will receive an error message for entering the correct name and surname.

While applying for the PAN, an individual is required to specify their name, middle name, and surname. The PAN allotted to an individual would be based on the data furnished at the time of making the PAN application.

Subsequently, when the individual wants to register on the e-filing website for enabling income tax filing etc., the details entered should match with the name and surname furnished at the time of making the PAN application. Hence, the individual would receive an error message while trying to register on the e-filing website.

How to enter the correct Surname?

There is a way for you to find out the surname as provided in the PAN application. Follow the steps below to find your surname:

Step 1: Make a note of your 10-character alphanumeric PAN number.

Step 2: The first five characters are alphabets, the next four characters are numbers, and the last character is an alphabet again. The first three characters are a sequence from AAA to ZZZ. The fourth character is either P or C representing individual and company, respectively. The fifth alphabet denotes the first letter of your surname.

Step 3: Once you get a clue on what surname you would have provided in the PAN application, you can enter the surname on the portal.

Step 4: Enter the PAN and date of birth properly along with the name to complete the registration process on the e-filing portal.


Consider that your name is Sridhar Kashyap. Here, Sridhar is your first name and Kashyap is your surname. If your PAN is AxxPSxxxxM. According to the information provided in Step 2 –

  • The first three characters in this example is Axx, which is a sequence from AAA to ZZZ.
  • The next character is ‘P’, which denotes that the taxpayer is an individual.
  • The fifth character is ‘S’ and denotes the first letter of the surname as specified in the PAN application.

According to the naming convention followed in India, you may think Sridhar is the first name and Kashyap is the surname. However, PAN has considered it the other way round. Therefore, you have to follow the same while registering on the e-filing portal. Now, the logic above states that Sridhar is your surname and Kashyap is your first name.

Once you have sorted the name and the surname, you should be able to proceed with the registration process on the e-filing website.

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