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A Complete Guide on TAN: Significance, Structure, How to Register

Updated on: 05 Jun, 2023 12:17 PM

Almost every Indian citizen who pays tax must have heard “Tax Deducted at Source” or Withholding Tax. But did you know, like PAN Card, which serves as an assessee’s identity, TAN is the identity of a tax deductor/ collector

We bring this guide to clear all your doubts about Tax deduction /collection Account Numbers (TAN).

What is TAN?

The full form of TAN is Tax Deduction or Collection Account Number. Every person liable to deduct TDS or TCS must apply for TAN.

As per section 203A, this 10-digit alphanumeric number must be quoted when you become liable to either Deduct or Collect tax (i.e., liable to deduct TDS or collect TCS), make payment through challan, or file TDS returns or issue a Tds certificate to the deductee.

What is the structure of the TAN?

TAN is a 10-digit alphanumeric number. The structure of TAN is as follows: ABC D 12345 X. So the first 4 characters are alphabets followed by 5 digits and then 1 alphabet at the end. The first 3 alphabets of TAN no. represent the city where TAN has been allotted, and 4th character of TAN no. represents the initial letter of a person's name. All 5 digits and the last alphabet are automated characters generated by the system.

TAN number format

What is the significance of obtaining a TAN number?

As per our country's tax laws, a person deducting TDS or TCS must deposit it into the treasury within a specified period, along with a return specifying the details as required by the government. Therefore, TAN is a unique identification number in all correspondence with the department. This also enables the government to credit the tax receipt and give credit to the deductee (the person whose TDS was deducted). This credit is reflected in the 26AS, i.e., the tax credit statement.

How to know your TAN Number online?

TAN does not come in the same physical form as a PAN. Consequently, only an allotment letter is allotted as proof of TAN. So, it is not always feasible for an individual to keep it in handy, and we also don’t have computer memory to remember such complicated digits.

Therefore, given your secure internet connection, you can find a TAN number anytime from anywhere. Follow these simple steps to check your TAN number online.

  • Visit the Income Tax E-filing portal. On the left side, under Quick Links, click on the option “Know Your TAN .” E-filing portal
  • After clicking, You will be redirected to the screen as shown below. Here enter the required details:
    1. TAN Search: Select either TAN/ Name
    2. Category of Deductor: Select the category from the drop-down menu.
    3. State: Select the state from the drop-down
    4. TAN/ Name: Enter the Name / TAN depending on the option you choose above. (If you search Name by selecting TAN-based, enter TAN; if you select Name-based search, enter the name.)
    5. Mobile No. - Enter the Mobile Number.
  • After filling in the details, click the “Continue“ button. click the “Continue“ button
  • When you click the “Continue“ button above, an OTP will be sent to your mobile number. Enter that OTP in the box and click on the “Validate” button. Enter OTP
  • Once you validate the OTP, TAN details will be shown in the same manner as in the screen below. TAN details
  • Now you have a basic idea about TAN, but there are many other things in this context besides it.

What are the penalties for failure to apply for TAN or false quoting of TAN in TDS returns?

There are penalties in the income tax act for failure to apply for TAN if mandatorily required to apply or for mentioning incorrect TAN. The penalty of Rs. 10,000 is imposable mention.

What is duplicate TAN?

When a person already holds a valid TAN and obtains an additional one, it is a duplicate TAN. Having more than one TAN except for different branches or divisions of an organization is illegal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q- Where do I have to quote the TAN Number?

TAN is mandatorily required to be quoted on the following documents:

  • Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) Return or Statements
  • Tax Collected at Source (TCS) Return or Statements
  • Statement of Financial Transactions or Reportable Accounts
  • Challans for payments of TDS/TCS
  • TDS/TCS certificates
  • Any other prescribed documents like Form 16/16A, etc.

Q- What is the difference between PAN and TAN?

Every individual entering specified financial transactions must possess a Permanent Account Number (PAN) mandatorily. However, Tax Deduction and Collection Number (TAN) is to be possessed by all those liable to deduct TDS/ collect TCS.

Q- How to apply for TAN?

You can apply for TAN either via Online Mode or via Offline Mode. Both are discussed as follows:

  • Offline Mode
    TAN application has to be filed via Form 49B (duplicate) and submitted at any TIN-FC (TIN Facilitation Centres). You can get the addresses of TIN-FCs from
  • Online Mode
    An online application can be filed via the TIN-NSDL website

Q- Which authority will allot TAN?

The Income Tax Department is the authority which allots TAN. Once it is allotted, all future documents related to TDS/ TCS should have TAN on it.

Q- How can I know my tan allotment date?

Applicants can know their TAN allotment date from a TAN allotment letter that has been received from the income tax department or an inquiry from the customer care of the income tax department.

Q- How can I know my TAN number by PAN number?

No, An applicant can not know the TAN details by providing the PAN No.. Visit Click on 'Know Your TAN / AO'

Q- Where can I find the TAN number of a company?

Applicants can find TAN from the income tax department Website by visiting Click on 'Know Your TAN / AO'

Q- What is the Fees for TAN Application?

The processing fee for both applications (new TAN and change request) is 65 (including Goods and Service Tax).

Q- How to TRACK the status of the TAN application?

The applicants may track the status of their TAN application using a 14-digit unique Acknowledgement Number after three days of application using the status track facility online. Alternatively, an applicant may call to TIN Call Centre on 020 – 2721 8080 to enquire about the status of the application. The status of the TAN application can also be tracked by sending an SMS - NSDLTAN to 57575.

Q- How can I find TAN of the employer?

You can find the TAN number of your employer mentioned on Form 16, 16A or Form 26AS.

Q- What is the TAN full form?

The full form of TAN is Tax Deduction or Collection Account Number. It is required by specified persons who must deduct or collect tax as per the provisions of the income tax act in India.

Q- What is TIN?

TIN is known as Tax Identification Number; it was issued to taxpayers registered under VAT. TIN is a 15-digit number.

Q- Can I quote TAN no. instead of PAN?

No, PAN can not be used instead of TAN. It can be used in case TDS is deducted under section 194IA or section 194IB, or section 194M.

Q- Is separate TAN required for TDS and TCS?

No, a single TAN can be used both for TDS and TCS.

Q- I need to remember my TAN; how can I get it now?

The income tax department’s official website allows you to “know your TAN” if you have lost or forgotten it.

CA Abhishek Soni
CA Abhishek Soni

Abhishek Soni is a Chartered Accountant by profession & entrepreneur by passion. He is the co-founder & CEO of Tax2win is amongst the top 25 emerging startups of Asia and authorized ERI by the Income Tax Department. In the past, he worked in EY and comes with wide industry experience from telecom, retail to manufacturing to entertainment where he has handled various national and international assignments.