Filed your income tax return (ITR) on time, as required by the Income Tax Department, and still waiting for your income tax refund? Relax! You may get it after it has been processed by the taxmen. Sometimes income tax refunds also get delayed because of various reasons, including mistakes in filing I-T returns or if there is any mismatch in the data.
Tax experts say that in general, expectations are the cause of the miseries in life and this can be true for those expecting a refund of their tax returns filed. “While we try to avoid mistakes, especially with important documents, such as filing your return, mistakes do occur, which can cause delays in your refund. Also, sometimes even if you have done your due diligence, mistakes can still happen due to reasons you are completely unaware of,” says Chetan Chandak, Head of Tax Research, H&R Block India.
Top 6 reasons for income tax refund processing delays
1. Late Filing: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If you choose to delay filing your tax return, then you can expect that you will be on the bottom of the list for refund processing, if one is due. So, “be a step ahead of the crowd and file your taxes early, instead of waiting till the very end, and enjoy the refund amount that you will receive before others,” says Chandak.
2. Incorrect Data: Attention to detail and accuracy in reporting are two major things that should be strictly adhered to when filing your taxes because failure to do so will result in delays in refunds or you may find yourself having to re-file your tax return, which is not only troublesome but a waste of your valuable time.
3. TDS Mismatch: Even if you filed the details correctly, as per your records and your Form 16 details, the details of TDS deducted can have errors, if your employer failed to provide the correct details or there is a mistake from the ITD’s side. “This mismatch in your TDS can cause delays in refund processing. So make sure you compare the details in your return with Form 26AS,” says Chandak.
4. Paper Filing: If you belong to the category of people who can file paper returns, i.e. a super senior citizen, or if your income is below Rs 5 lakh per annum, then your refund might be processed slower than those who have chosen to e-file their tax returns. E-filing ensures speedy processing of your refund.
5. ITR-V Delays: Again, with the availability of technology, e-verification of your ITR-V negates the need to post your ITR-V to Bangalore. However, if you have chosen to post it, or delay in posting your signed ITR-V form, this will cause delays in your refund processing.
6. Not filing the Required Annexure or table: While you file your tax return, ensure that you also submit other forms required in support of your claim. E.g.
1. If you are claiming relief u/s. 89, you have to file Form 10E or
2. If you are claiming 80GG deduction, you have to file Form 10BA
3. If you are claiming foreign tax relief, you should file Form 67 before the due date (31st July) of filing your tax return.
4. If your taxable income exceeds Rs 50 lakh for the year, you need to provide the details of your assets and liabilities in your tax return.
If you miss filing these forms, it may delay the processing of your tax return and consequent refund as well.
So, “while not all your expectations in life may be met, you can ensure your expectations of a refund from your tax return is processed quickly by avoiding the common causes of delays in your refund processing,” informs Chandak.