Good news for taxpayers, especially those who have recently filed their income tax return (ITR) and are waiting for a refund. They can now expect their ITRs to be processed fast by the Income Tax Department as the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has reportedly asked the tax department to expedite the process of income tax refund.
According to some media reports, some taxpayers have already got their tax refunds within 10 to 15 days of filing and e-verifying their returns. So, if everything goes well, taxpayers may soon start getting their tax refunds within 15 days of meeting all the conditions of return filing, provided no discrepancy is found by the tax department while processing a return. However, the refund may get delayed in case an income tax return has not been e-verified after having been filed.
Tax experts also say that now-a-days, after processing of income tax returns, the Income Tax Department has been issuing the tax refunds in an expedite manner. However, in case of any discrepancy(s) found by the department while processing a return, the refund(s) might get delayed until such discrepancy(s) is resolved to the satisfaction of the tax authorities. Although currently there are no fixed timelines for issuance of a tax refund — which might take from two weeks to two months, depending upon the complexity of a tax return — but getting refunds within 15 days is possible.
However, “in order to claim a tax refund, it is imperative for a taxpayer to furnish his/her tax return. Post filing & verification of a tax return by a taxpayer, the said ITR is processed by the tax department and an intimation is sent to the taxpayer on completion of processing. The purpose of such intimation is to inform the taxpayer of acceptance of his/her returned income/ taxes or highlighting any discrepancy(s) which requires an appropriate action from the taxpayer to make necessary rectifications (if any) in his/her tax return or to provide any additional information/ document(s) for concluding the final processing,” says Akhil Chandna, Director, Grant Thornton India LLP.
Once the returned income and tax refund claim of taxpayer get accepted by the tax department, the intimation reflects the amount of refund which is finally paid along with applicable interest in the taxpayer’s bank account. A taxpayer can also monitor the status of his tax refund via the ‘reference number’ which is provided in the aforesaid intimation.