Income Tax Refund: 5 things you must do to speed up the refund of income tax : 29-08-2019

Income Tax Return 2019: The Centralised Processing Center (CPC) of the Income Tax Department is responsible for the automated processing of tax returns. The I-T department has put in place various checks and balances and where these are in order, the income tax refund is processed automatically, sometimes even within a week of filing the tax return.

Tax authorities have visibility of various taxpayer-related information such as tax withholding details by the employer, interest details shared by banker etc. The authorities will also have access to all income details such as capital gains, dividends etc. One of the primary reasons for delay in processing the tax return by the CPC is the mismatch in information reflected in the tax return as compared to what is available with tax authorities.

Here are some pointers which one can consider while filing the income tax return which would help faster processing of tax refunds.

1. Being diligent in preparation of tax return

Making sure that the tax return captures the salary income as per Form 16 (from the current employer as well as from any previous employer) matches with the details of tax credit statement i.e., Form 26AS available on the tax department website, go a long way in minimising mismatches. The department provides pre-filled ITRs where all details with respect to salary and interest on fixed deposits/NRO savings bank details are reflected. Hence it is important to ensure that none of these are inadvertently omitted. A review of the credits in the bank statements is also helpful to ensure that nothing is missed out. Mismatches will trigger notices from the CPC requiring appropriate online responses, delaying the processing of refund.

2. Refund credit to be requested to an active bank account

The Income Tax Return (ITR) form is enabled to seek multiple bank accounts for refund to be credited. The refund will be credited to one of the accounts as decided by the CPC after processing the return. It would be better to select only one bank account for credit of refund. Further, it is important to ensure that this is an active bank account.

3. Pre-validate your bank account for direct credit of refund

Unlike earlier years, where refunds exceeding Rs 50,000 was paid out via cheque, the Income Tax Department has announced that from March 2019, only e-refunds will be issued. This necessitates a pre-validation of your bank account by following the below-mentioned steps:

# Logon to the ‘e-Filing’ Portal

# Select Profile Settings – Pre-validate your Bank Account

# Pre-validate form will be displayed in case no account exists

# Provide ‘Bank Account Number’, ‘Account Type’, ‘IFSC’, ‘Mobile # Number’, ‘e-mail id’ and Click on ‘Pre-validate’. (email ID is optional; if provided it will be validated with the bank)

# Status of the request will be sent to the e-mail id registered with the e-Filing account.

It is important to ensure that the pre-validation process is completed where a tax refund is expected.

4. Change over to e-verification of ITR

Once the tax return is e-filed, a period of 120 days is available to send the signed physical copy of the ITRV to CPC, providing sufficient time for verification. This also means that the tax return will not be processed by the CPC till such time as the verification is complete. For quicker processing of returns, e-verification can be adopted by using any of the below-mentioned options:

# Aadhaar OTP

# Using Electronic Verification Code by logging to e-filing through Net Banking, Pre-validated bank account/Demat Account details

# Digital Signature Certificate


5. Log on to the tax portal and check for refunds

Once the ITR is processed by the tax department, you will receive an intimation U/s 143(1) on your email. In case the department needs more information or your case is picked up for tax audit, then a notice will be sent to the taxpayer. It is important to check these out and also check the status of the refund by logging on to the income tax e-filing website and clicking on the Refund/Demand Status under the ‘My Account’ tab.

Alternatively, one can track the refund status by visiting https://tin.tin.nsdl.com/oltas/refundstatuslogin.html

It requires only PAN and Assessment Year information to check the status of your refund.

Source : Financial Express