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There are crores of taxpayers filing their income tax returns every financial year. The government has divided these taxpayers into smaller jurisdictions in order to handle the cases better. Read through to know the procedure to find out the jurisdiction you belong to.

  1. What is income tax ward/circle/range?
  2. Who is an assessing officer?
  3. What is AO code?
  4. How is an AO code determined?
  5. How to find out your income tax ward (Method 1)?
  6. Finding income tax ward (Method 2)

1. What is income tax ward /circle /range?

As said above, 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.

2. Who is an assessing officer?

An assessing officer (AO) is a person who is authorised to assess income tax returns filed. If AO finds out any discrepancy in the filed returns, he can issue a notice to the taxpayer seeking clarification. Assessing officers work from across the country for the jurisdiction they are assigned.

3. What is AO code?

AO code/area jurisdiction consists of the area code, AO type, range code, and AO number.

Area Code: A code is assigned to every area. You can find the area code based on the area to which your jurisdiction belongs to.

AO Type: It determines the type of AO a taxpayer comes under -Type C for circle and Type W for the ward. For example, taxpayers with an income above Rs 10 lakh will be Type C.

Range Code: It says the income range a taxpayer belongs.

AO Number: This denotes the assessing officer number assigned to that particular ward/circle.

Such AO code is required to be quoted in PAN application. You can get the information from the income tax department. Alternatively, you can find this information online.

4. What is AO code?

AO code varies based on taxpayers’ occupation. Individuals in air force/army have specific AO codes as given in the following table:




Area Code

AO Type

Range Code

AO Number

Air Force

ITO Ward 42(2)






ITO Ward 4(3), GHQ, PNE





When it comes to people with an occupation other than air force/army or organisations, the AO code is determined based on the criteria given in the table below:


Applicant Type



For income sources such as:

  • Salary or one of the sources is salary
  • Business or one of the sources is business

Then, the AO code is based on the office address.

Otherwise, the AO code will be based on the residential address.

Company, local authority, partnership firm, trust, Hindu undivided family (HUF), a body of individuals, association of persons, limited liability partnership, artificial judicial person, and government.

AO code will be based on office address.

Further, the AO code may change over time according to the changes in the income tax policies. Contact the local income tax office to find out the AO assessing your case.

5. How to find out your income tax ward (Method 1)?

You can determine the jurisdiction you belong to by following the steps given below:

Step 1: Visit the income tax e-filing portal at

Step 2: Click on ‘Verify Your PAN Details’ option on the left-side menu as shown in the image below.

Income Tax efiling
Step 3: Enter the necessary information such as PAN, full name, date of birth, and the type of taxpayer as shown in the image below.

Income Tax efiling
Step 4: Click ‘Submit’.

Step 5: You will receive an OTP on your registered mobile number. Enter the OTP on the screen and click ‘Submit’.

Step 6: A screen will be displayed with the details – PAN, first name, middle name, surname, citizenship status, jurisdiction, and remarks (if the PAN status is active or not).

6. Finding income tax ward (Method 2)

Step 1: Log in to the income tax e-filing portal at

Income Tax efiling
Step 2: Click ‘My Profile’ under the ‘Profile Settings’ tab.

"My Profile" Income Tax efiling
Step 3: Click on the ‘PAN’ tab to get the necessary details of your jurisdiction.

Know your ward