Taxpayers are in control to avoid delays in refund
Taxpayer’s around the world have a happy day when a refund cheque or credit arrives. Most of those claimed in India are getting a refund faster, i.e., 2-3 month time or maybe less. But those not received are most likely responsible themselves for the delay in getting a refund because most of the reason is in your control.
During FY 2017-18, 6.84 crores Income Tax Returns (ITRs) were filed with the Income Tax Department as compared to 5.43 crores ITRs registered during FY 2016-17, showing a growth of 26%. There has been a sustained increase in the number of ITRs recorded in the last four financial years. As compared to 3.79 crores ITRs filed in F.Y. 2013-14. Similarly, the number and speed of issuing refunds have increased. Refunds amounting to Rs.1.49 lakh crores have been published during 2017-18. However, you may not have received so far. Hence, you are not happy with whatever progress being claimed by ITD. But, the fact is you need to improve your tax intelligence to keep up with the ITD progress.
1)Ensure e-filing is complete: For claiming refund one is required to e-file return mandatorily. Hence, you shoud first check and confirm that the e-filing of return has been succeeded, i.e. ITR V received by CPC or e-verified.
2) Check refund status at https://tin.tin.nsdl.com/oltas/refundstatuslogin.html and the list of different refund status include
a)Refund has expired : Which means you forgot to deposit the refund cheque within 90 days in your bank account. Log in at www.incometaxindia.gov.in and go to “My Account” tab and select “Refund Re-issue Request” from the drop-down menu
b)Refund has returned : Which means speed post containing refund cheque has been returned. This happens if your address given in the ITR is old/ incorrect. Simply log in at www.incometaxindia.gov.in and go to “My Account” tab and select “Refund Re-issue Request” from the drop-down menu
c) Refund through direct Credit mode has failed: Which meant CPC processed return and issued the refund request. SBI tried direct credit of refund amount but it failed, and the reason coud be account closed, non-operative account, it’s not a resident saving account (NRI or fixed deposit account not eligible) or the person died hence account closed. Provide correct IFSC code and account number and file refund reissue request.
d) Received ECS refund advice but bank account not credited: This delay happens because of bank data error in account or IFSC number etc. First, you need to check the account number and IFSC/MICR code mentioned in the ECS advice slip carefuly. If the account information is correct, then you shoud contact your bank and inquire about the status of NEFT UTR number or NECS sequence number as displayed on TIN website. If the account information is incorrect, you shoud contact your bank to find out if the amount has been credited to the wrong account. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more guidance.
e) Refund adjusted against previous years’ outstanding demand: This status is displayed if your refund for the current year had been fixed against outstanding demand of previous Assessment Year either in-part or in-ful. You shoud verify the details mentioned on the ECS advice. Log in to your account and select “Submit Grievance” under “Helpdesk” tab for the wrong adjustment and get the old demand canceled at the earliest by contacting the assessing officer of your ward. The old request is outstanding due to a mismatch in tax credit claimed by taxpayers and showing in form 26 AS. The taxpayer has to get the form 26 AS matching done before e-filing for a faster refund.
f) Refund processed through NEFT has failed: You shoud verify in “My Profile” the account details given at the time of filing your tax return. You shoud login to your account and update on ITD’s e-filing portal at https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in and choose “My Profile” tab under “Profile Settings” And make the required changes in your profile, i.e. PAN details, Address, etc. and submit refund reissue request.
g) Refund claimed but not received: You shoud login to ‘My Account-My returns/Form’ to know the update on the status of your return. The refund may be in the process since because the return hasn’t been processed by the IT department yet or the IT department has decided on a ‘no refund due’ after processing.
Till which previous year FY/AY can refund be claimed?
In an Assessment Year, claiming a tax refund for previous years is possible for up to 2 years or financial years. However, to help taxpayers with genuine hardship the CBDT may authorize income tax authority to admit a belated application or claim for any deduction, exemption, refund or any other relief. It can be possible even after the expiry of the period specified under the Act for making such claim or application for a return filed under section 119 (2) (b).
Steps to avoid delays in refund
Double check the typo errors
If you spell your name wrong, reverse any digits in your PAN or use an incorrect home address, the income tax department cannot process the return. Thus refunds woud be delayed.
Double check the computation and claim of deductions
Tax returns include lots of deductions and computation. The possible causes for delay in refunds are wrong calcuations, improper adding or subtracting/deducting, etc. Better you, e-file your return and let the trusted software do the calcuations for you.
ITR V Verification: Late or no submission of ITR V or e-verification by taxpayers due to relaxing attitude or lack of awareness about tax processes. In case ITR-V is already verified, but still, there is a delay, you can follow up with the Centralized Processing Center (CPC) of the Income-tax Department on 1800 103 4455 or +91-80-46605200 (Monday to Friday between 8 am to 8 pm).
Choose the correct ITR form
The ITR forms are based on sources of income, losses and your status as a person. Incorrect ITR form woud delay the process because the necessary details for processing woud be missing in the wrong ITR form.
Last-minute tax filing
If you get the return in just before the tax deadline, you’re part of the grand swarm of last-minute filers. The sudden glut of tax returns can cause processing delays.
TDS Mismatch: Even if you filed the details correctly, as per your records and your Form 16 details, the details of TDS deduction might be erroneously entered by employer or ITD. This mismatch in your TDS can cause delays in refund processing. So make sure you compare the details in your return with Form 26AS.
Nonsubmission of statutory annexure: There are some specific annexure/forms to be filed along with ITR for claiming tax relief, i.e. arrears relief u/s 89 in form 10 E, rent deduction u/s 80GG in form 10 BA, the audit report for F&O losses, etc.