The standard paper cheques, wherever issued, require the current bank account number and the correct address of the taxpayer as mandatory information. To check the refund status online, one must log into https://tin.tin.nsdl.com/oltas/refundstatuslogin.html and enter your PAN and assessment year. One can even check through the toll free number of SBI help desk at 18004259760 or even via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
One can see the status messages depending on the actual state of processing or if there are any disparities noticed by the department. The assessee can appeal and notify the department in case of any discrepancies. In cases where the assessing officer has not processed your return, there will be no status displayed on the website.
The income tax department has nominated State bank of India (SBI) for all refund transactions. SBI forwards all the refund cheques or online transfers. For the bank, RTGS/ NECS/ ECS transfers are possible only if the 10 digit account number has been correctly provided by the assessee along with the IFSC code of the bank or MIRC as required in online filing/offline information.
The refund status will be available only if the tax return has been filed correctly and on time. The taxpayer must also ensure that the hard copy of the returns has been been received by the I-T department. Filing returns online through facilities of the I-T department is a great advantage as it helps in quick processing of refund and is less time consuming. Online refund is faster and quicker if the return has been filed on time and preferably before July 31 through the online filing system.
If the taxpayer wants the refund in cheque, then he must ensure that the address is correct. In case there is any change in address, then it must be notified immediately or else the cheque will return to the I-T department. After the assessee has received the refund cheque and has encashed it, then the status at the departments website will reflect the same. Also, in cases where the cheque is not encashed, it will still reflect on the website.
The online status is updated only after a period of 10 to 15 days of the assessing officer having made the refund either online or by dispatching the cheque. In cases were returns are filed offline and refund is pending long due for more than two years, then the taxpayer will have to visit the assessing officer at the earliest with all the details of return file, taxes paid and copy of Form 26AS.