Processing of returns of income, including those with refund claim, is a continuous process. Statutory time limit to process returns of income is with reference to the financial year of their receipt. As per the Income Tax Act, 1961 returns received during the financial year can be processed upto one year from the end of the financial year in which the return is received. Therefore, returns for the accounting periods as F.Ys 2009-10 and 2010-11 if filed during F.Y. 2011-12 can be processed upto 31.03.2013. Normally, after processing of return, the refund generated is used in due course. The timelines for processing of return of income are complied with as these are contained in the Income Tax Act and statutorily enforceable.
The data for amount of refunds paid is maintained on all India basis and not region-wise. The all India data for refunds alongwith interest paid is tabulated as under:
Refund (in Rs. crores)
2012-13 (upto Oct. 2012)
*figures are provisional
As the veracity and quantum of refund is determined on processing of the return of income (including matching of tax payment data), there may be variation between the refund allowed and the claim made in the return of income. Thus, data about number as well as amount of refund due to be paid is not maintainable.
Grievances or claims about refunds, if any, received are looked into by the Assessing Officers concerned and appropriate action in accordance with the provisions of the Income Tax Act is taken.
Various steps taken by the Department to expedite refunds are as under:
(i) Promoting e-filing of the returns for speedy processing
(ii) Issuance of refunds through Refund Banker
(iii) Centralized Processing Centre (CPC) at Bengaluru has been set up to process e-returns.
(iv) Through Citizens' Charter and other press releases issued by the Department, tax payers are requested to carefully mention the relevant particulars in return of income.
(v) TDS deductors are required to compulsory e-file their TDS returns on quarterly basis.
(vi) Mandatory quoting of deductee PAN in the quarterly statement of TDS filed by the deductors.
(vii) Facility of viewing the Tax Credit Statement in Form 26AS is made available to tax payers so that they can verify the TDS details before filing the return of income and take proper steps with the deductor(s) to rectify mistakes, if any.
(viii) Online viewing of status of tax payers refund is available for better information dissemination.
This was stated by the Minister of State for Finance, Shri S.S. Palanimanickam in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.