What you need to know about your IT refunds?
A tax refund may be necessitated for a variety of reasons. You may have paid excess tax during the year or you may have submitted your investment details late as a result of which your employer may have deducted excess tax. Alternatively, you may have paid excess capital gains tax during the year and may be filing for a refund. Today, there are hundreds of crores worth of refunds that are pending to be paid out due to a variety of technical reasons. Basic awareness of the refund process will help you crunch this issue.
Why do refunds get delayed?
At the outset, your IT refund may get delayed for a variety of reasons. There may be errors in your return filing as a result of which the system will not accept your return and ask you to file your returns again. Secondly, there may be some past refunds disputed or tax dues pending as a result of which the refunds are normally held up. On such occasions, the reason for the refund being unpaid will be explained on the IT website, which you can access by logging in with your user name and password. The third reason why refunds get delayed is mismatch in either bank data or address data. The Income Tax department goes by the data updated on your PAN database for sending refund checks. If you have changed your house and the details are not updated in your PAN database, then the refund may go to the wrong address and hence return. Also in case of online refunds, your name in the IT returns must exactly match with the name in the bank account. Any mismatch will result in the refund being rejected.
How to resolve the refund issue…
Today, the IT department has made the entire task of claiming refund and reissue of refunds online. Let us take the first case where there has been an error in filing the tax returns. In such cases, a notice u/s 139(9) will be issued based on which you rectify the error and file once again online. Once the filing is satisfactory, the refund is issued by the IT department. In the second instance refunds could get held up due to past tax disputes or tax dues claimed by the IT department. You need to meet up with your jurisdictional Assessing Officer (AO) and provide necessary details. You may have to furnish details like Form 16, bank statement, trading statement etc. Once the AO is satisfied, the refund will be processed. But, make it a point to address such cases with urgency.
Delays due to wrong address and bank details are quite common. You can login with your IT PAN and ask for the refund order to be mailed to your new address. Remember, refund orders over Rs.50,000 will only be sent by post and will not be directly credited to your bank account, even if you request for a direct credit. These small issues can be irritants, but can be easily resolved.