The government had announced that in order to help taxpayers in the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the pending income tax refunds up to Rs 5 lakh will soon be issued. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) recently informed that it has already issued over 10.2 lakh refunds totalling to around Rs. 4,250 crore as on 14th April 2020. These refunds are over and above the 2.50 crore refunds already issued in FY 2019-2020 till 31st March 2020 totalling Rs 1.84 lakh crore.
The CBDT further informed that about 1.75 lakh more refunds are in the process of issuance which would get credited directly to the taxpayer bank account in 5-7 business days from issuance. “This would be applicable for all individuals and business entities including MSME having refund claim up to Rs 5 Lakh,” says Saraswathi Kasturirangan, Partner, Deloitte India.
Is your ITR processed
To be eligible for the I-T refund, you need to ensure that your ITR has been verified and processed by the department. “The Income Tax refunds would be issued by the tax authorities only after verification and processing of the tax return. Further, the press note has not specifically indicated any assessment year. Hence, we may presume that all pending refunds would be taken up for processing provided the refund value is up to Rs 5 lakh,” informs Kasturirangan.
ITR Processing process
“Once the return filed by the tax payer is verified by him either through online or by sending the hard copy of the signed ITR verification form to the Central Processing Centre (CPC), the CPC would process the same through an automated mechanism. During this process, the data available with the tax department such as Form 16 data, tax withholding information reflected in Form 26AS etc are matched and an intimation under Section 143(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 is issued which indicates refund due/tax payable by the tax payer. The intimation also provides a comparison of the detailed calculation of the tax as computed by the taxpayers and the income tax department,” informs Kasturirangan.
How to check if ITR is processed
According to Kasturirangan, here are the steps to check if your ITR is processed or now.
1. The status of the tax return filed can be checked by logging on to the income tax e-filing website of the income tax department.
2. Click on dashboard>View return/forms
3. Select “Income tax returns” and click on “submit”
4. Click on the “acknowledgement number” of the year for which return has been filed to view the detailed status of the return filed.
What if ITR is not processed
“If the return of income has not been processed, a taxpayer may file a grievance petition with CPC/Assessing officer online in his account in the income tax portal- requesting the tax department to speed up the processing of the tax return,” says Kasturirangan.
Emails from tax department
And, if you as a taxpayer are still waiting for the income tax refund, you may additionally have to do a few things including responding to any email from the CBDT. The income tax department has in its communication stated that for around 1.74 lakh income tax returns (ITRs), email responses are awaited from taxpayers regarding reconciliation with their outstanding tax demand for which a reminder email has been sent asking them to respond within 7 days so that the refund can be processed accordingly.
CBDT states that these reminder emails from I-T department are in fact for the benefit of taxpayers as it seeks them to confirm their outstanding demand, their bank accounts and reconciliation of defect/mismatch prior to issue of refund. The CBDT also clarified that these are the necessary routine process-related communications to the taxpayers to seek a response on defective ITRs, prima facie adjustments and where confirmation is sought about certain claims made by them. In all such cases, a quick response from the taxpayer would enable the I-T Department to process their refunds expeditiously.
The CBDT appealed that it is in the interest of taxpayers to provide a response to such emails at the earliest so that refunds could be processed and issued at the earliest. CBDT has requested taxpayers to check their email and login to their e-filing account to respond to the I-T Department immediately.