Did Not Receive Your Income Tax Refund Yet? What Next?

Did Not Receive Your Income Tax Refund Yet? What Next?

If you have not yet received your tax refund, first you need to check the status of your refund online.

Are you worried about why you have not yet received your income tax refund? Despite submitting your income tax return (ITR) within the due date of the assessment year 2019-20? There could be several reasons for it. However, a common reason could be to provide incorrect bank account details on the ITR form.

While the tax refund was previously issued in the form of a cheque or direct credit to bank accounts, the income tax department now credits tax refunds only in the form of direct credit in the taxpayers' bank accounts. Also, as of this AY, these accounts must be previously validated and linked to the permanent account number (PAN) of the taxpayers.

You are eligible to claim a refund if the excess income tax has been deducted from your income this year. This could happen in cases of multiple incomes or where taxes are deducted at source (TDS). The income tax department does reimburse the excess of this tax paid, but you must request it when you submit your ITR for the corresponding fiscal year.

Track The Status

If you have not yet received your refund, you must first check the status of your refund. "About five to six years ago, one had to approach the assessing officer to find out the status of refunds. Now one can check it online within minutes," said Amit Maheshwari, partner, Ashok Maheshwary and Associates Llp, a chartered accountancy firm. Except in a few cases, now most people get their refunds in a few months of filing returns, further added Maheshwari.

You can track the status of your refund on www.incometaxindia.gov.in or www.tin-nsdl.com. Click on "Status of Tax Refunds" tab, enter your PAN and the AY for which you want to track the refund. A message will pop up if the refund has been processed, affirming the mode of payment, a reference number, status and date of refund.

But, if there is a problem for which the refund has not been issued or rejected, the message will specify that. For example, if the message says "refund unpaid," it could be because the bank account details (account number or IFS code) that you sent to the income tax department are incorrect. In that case, verify the details of your bank account that you have mentioned in your ITR.

Bank Account Information

As per the income tax rules, you must provide details of all the savings and current accounts you have at any time in India during the previous year, while submitting your returns. It is not mandatory to provide details of inactive accounts that have not been operational for more than three years. However, "if the income from all the bank accounts has been duly included though the details of the account itself may have been omitted, no penalty may be leviable in such cases," said Maheshwari.

If you hold more than one bank account, you must specify the account in which you want to get your refund credited, regardless of whether you have a refund or not. Bank details include bank name, account number, and the 11-digit IFS Code of the bank or details of the international bank account number (IBAN) if you have a foreign bank account.

Taxpayers who filed returns for AY2019-20 were also mandatory to ensure that the bank account chosen for the refund is pre-validated with the e-filing account and linked to their PAN. If you do not offer any of the details mentioned above, the refund may not be credited.

Make Correction

If you discover that you have made a mistake in providing your bank account details, you can update it, before making a refund request.

Remember that you can update your bank account details only in case your return has been processed and your refund has failed or has not been credited to your bank account due to a problem with your bank account details.

In that case, you must modify your account details and request reimbursement of the refund. It can be done online by logging into the e-filing portal, www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in, with your user ID and password. Next, go to "My Account" and then click on "Refund Reissue Request". Follow the steps and enter the new bank account number or make a correction to the bank details already mentioned and submit the request.

Before doing so, make sure that this account is linked to your PAN and is previously validated. To link your bank account with PAN, you must visit your bank branch with a copy of PAN. It is a simple process and does not take much time. Once you link your bank account with PAN, pre-validate the bank account through the e-filing account. Log in to the e-filing accounts, go to "profile settings" and choose which bank you want to pre-validate. You must provide information such as bank name, bank account number, IFS code, email ID and mobile to validate your bank account.

Once you update your bank account and make a request for reimbursement of refunds, it will most likely get credited to your account in a few days.

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