written by | June 8, 2022

Who is an Assessing Officer? Importance & Purposes Explained

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Table of Content


The Assessing Officer is a government official who performs all powers assigned under the Income Tax Act. In general, they prepare books of accounts, commissions and other documents. In addition to this, an Assessing Officer enforces the presence of anyone, including any banker or officer. They inspect bank records and income tax records.

An AO has the authority to reassess a taxpayer's tax return if there are errors or discrepancies in the computations. This is done by Section 148 of the IT Act. The AO must contact the taxpayer to explain their actions. A person the IT department has contacted is deemed to cooperate with the tax authorities and can request a refund or pay extra tax.

Did You Know?

Property tax assessments depend upon sale prices and the tax levels set by the state/local government. It's also possible to conduct assessments on assets to figure out their resale value.

Also Read: Assessment or Reassessment Notice of Income Tax Act

What is the Importance of having an Assessing Officer?

Let’s start by knowing the Assessing Officer's meaning. The Income Tax Department has an Assessing Officer who has the power to assess your income tax returns. His designation may vary according to your trade and volume of income.

  • There are many benefits to having an Assessing Officer on your side.
  • He prepares books of accounts and other documents, issues commissions, and is authorised to search an individual's bank accounts. 
  • An income tax assessor can also check records on oath.
  • An Assessing Officer is an official who carries out assessments. 
  • An Assessing Officer is a person who evaluates your income tax returns.
  • You can e-file your returns by providing your PAN details and a registered mobile number. You will receive an e-filing notification from the Assessing Officer as soon as you have completed the process.
  • These officers are located at designated offices across the country.

Your Assessing Officer may also be known as Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax, Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, Joint Commissioner of Income Tax, or Additional Commission of Tax. If you are a small business, an Assessing Officer may be assigned to your business. Hence, having an Assessing Officer is important. 

What is the Purpose of a Jurisdiction?

Jurisdiction is a legal term that refers to a geographical area or legal entity. Your PAN jurisdiction gives you full details about the Commissioner's charge, Joint commissioner Range, Chief Commissioner Region, Place and the Designation for the Assessing Officer.

For example, an individual who has applied for a PAN card has been assigned a PAN card by the Income Tax Department based on their permanent address. They can also view the PAN card status.

If individual wishes to move/change their permanent residence and communicate with I-T on the change, they must change their PAN jurisdiction. This is done with the jurisdictional assessor assigned to be assessed when applying for a PAN card.

This is where the importance of knowing your Pan Jurisdiction. You can easily change or shift your permanent address with PAN jurisdiction. You can find your PAN details on the official website of the Income Tax Department. 

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

You can easily find AO Codes on government-authorised websites that have PAN information. Let’s know-how from the steps described below:

  • Step 1: Determine if you are a non-salaried, salaried or non-individual applicant.
  • Step 2: Choose the home or office address based on your criteria.
  • Step 3: The lists of AO codes are visible on the Protean eGov Technologies Limited and the UTIITSL websites.
  • Step 4: Search the city you live in alphabetically on the website. Select the city and read the jurisdiction/description.
  • Step 5: Locate one which suits your office area, profession, organisation type and income. You will have your AO Code if you consider the Area Code, Range Type, AO Type and the AO number.

Also, you can visit TIN-NSDL and download Excel sheets that contain AO Codes. Open the Excel file and use the (ctrl f) search function to locate the city you live in.

An AO Code's components

The following are the components of an AO code:

  • Area code: The area code is the jurisdiction of the Assessing Officer.
  • Range code: The range where the Assessing Officer work is called Range Code.
  • Type of AO: The type of Assessing Officer (AO Type) is Ward, Circle or Range.
  • AO Number: The Assessing Officer is assigned an AO number.

Also Read: Representative Assessee - Assessee in Income Tax

AO Code for PAN Card

Now that you know what Assessing Officers mean let’s understand the AO of PAN, as it’s essential to know if you’re going to be an ITR Assessing Officer. The Income Tax Office can provide the AO Code to applicants. You can also find your AO code online. The AO Code of a particular PAN card holder could change according to the Income Tax Department's policy. To find out the assessor under which jurisdiction, one can contact the local Income Tax Office.

When is it Appropriate to Change the Pan Jurisdiction?

In the following circumstances, individuals can modify their PAN jurisdiction:

  1. Change/shift the permanent address.
  2. If one isn't satisfied with the Assessing Officer of the jurisdiction because of unprofessional conduct or behaviour

What are the Types of AO Codes?

There are 4 major types of AO codes. They are used to identify individuals or companies and connect them with tax laws. Let's take a look at the AO codes:

  1. International Taxation: It is for companies and individuals who apply for a PAN card but are not Indian citizens or incorporated in India.
  2. Non-International Taxation (Located Outside Mumbai): These are AO codes that can be used by people or companies who are registered in Mumbai.
  3. Non-International Taxation (Mumbai): This is an AO codes list, which applies to people/institutes on the basis of where it is located in India and is outside Mumbai.
  4. Defence Personnel: In this type of AO code, they can identify a person as a member of an Indian Army’s dependent. There are only two sorts of codes available, one for the Army and one for the Air Force.

Although it is not required to know your AO Code, it is a good idea to know it.

When There is a Change in the Address, AO Can Be Changed

If an assessee moves or changes their residence, they must update the details in returns. The taxpayer must make any necessary changes to communicate with the I-T department. These are the steps to change to the Assessing Officer in case of a change in your permanent residence.

  • Step 1: Submit a letter to your current AO describing the reason for the address change.
  • Step 2: Send an application to the new AO asking him to submit a request to the existing AO to change his AO.
  • Step 3: This application must be accepted by the current AO.
  • Step 4: The application is approved and forwarded to the Income-tax Commissioner.
  • Step 5: The Commissioner approves that the AO be changed from the AO currently in effect to the AO where the application was started.

If the existing AO doesn't approve the request, the migration of PAN will not be processed and will become stuck. The new AO can't approve the application.

Unsatisfactory Behaviour

You can request that your AO be replaced if he is not performing his duties efficiently or displays unprofessional behaviour. Follow these steps to get your AO changed:

  1. Send a detailed application to the Income Tax Ombudsman.
  2. Please provide all information, including your name, address and the name of the Assessing Officer. Also, include the reason you are unhappy with his work.
  3. Your request must be approved by the ombudsman and signed on by him.
  4. Include any supporting documents with your letter.
  5. Once the application has been approved, it is sent to the Income Tax Commissioner.
  6. The current AO is approved and changed to a new Assessing Officer.

Conclusion

An Assessing Officer cannot issue a notice based on mere suspicion or lack of evidence. If they have provided a disclosure, there is no reason to suspect the assessee of evasion. A taxpayer should provide facts to the Assessing Officer relevant to the assessment.

The Assessing Officer must also consider the assessee's position in the organisation. However, this does not mean that the Assessing Officer can issue a notice based on faulty documentation or insufficient information.

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FAQs

Q: What are the powers of Assessing Officers?

Ans:

Powers of Assessing Officer include:

  • Inspection and discovery.
  • The requirement of attendance for anyone includes any person employed by a bank and then examining him on oath.
  • The compilation of books of accounts and other records.
  • Commissions are issued.

Q: What is the AO code for a person who is not employed and has a PAN card?

Ans:

A PAN Card does not have a specific AO code for non-employed people. There is an option that allows you to select a lower salary than a set amount.

Q: How do I find my PAN area code?

Ans:

Your area code can be found on the Protean eGov Technologies Limited portal or by contacting the tax department. To find your area code, you must enter your PAN info.

Q: What is the AO code for a person who is not employed and has a PAN card?

Ans:

A non-employed individual on a PAN card does not receive an AO code. The applicant will be able to select a salary lower than a specific amount.

Q: Is there any AO code for students?

Ans:

Students do not have an AO code.

Q: What’s Assessing Officer's meaning?

Ans:

The Assessing Officer (AO) is an income tax assessor. Department responsible for ensuring the correctness of IT Returns filed by taxpayers who are in their area of responsibility.

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The information, product and services provided on this website are provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis without any warranty or representation, express or implied. Khatabook Blogs are meant purely for educational discussion of financial products and services. Khatabook does not make a guarantee that the service will meet your requirements, or that it will be uninterrupted, timely and secure, and that errors, if any, will be corrected. The material and information contained herein is for general information purposes only. Consult a professional before relying on the information to make any legal, financial or business decisions. Use this information strictly at your own risk. Khatabook will not be liable for any false, inaccurate or incomplete information present on the website. Although every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this website is updated, relevant and accurate, Khatabook makes no guarantees about the completeness, reliability, accuracy, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, product, services or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Khatabook will not be liable for the website being temporarily unavailable, due to any technical issues or otherwise, beyond its control and for any loss or damage suffered as a result of the use of or access to, or inability to use or access to this website whatsoever.
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Disclaimer :
The information, product and services provided on this website are provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis without any warranty or representation, express or implied. Khatabook Blogs are meant purely for educational discussion of financial products and services. Khatabook does not make a guarantee that the service will meet your requirements, or that it will be uninterrupted, timely and secure, and that errors, if any, will be corrected. The material and information contained herein is for general information purposes only. Consult a professional before relying on the information to make any legal, financial or business decisions. Use this information strictly at your own risk. Khatabook will not be liable for any false, inaccurate or incomplete information present on the website. Although every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this website is updated, relevant and accurate, Khatabook makes no guarantees about the completeness, reliability, accuracy, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, product, services or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Khatabook will not be liable for the website being temporarily unavailable, due to any technical issues or otherwise, beyond its control and for any loss or damage suffered as a result of the use of or access to, or inability to use or access to this website whatsoever.