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Wondering Where Your Income Tax Refund Is? Read This
May, 15th 2015

After duly submitting Income Tax Returns most taxpayers who filed for a refund anxiously await a credit to their bank accounts. Income Tax Refunds are usually directly credited to bank accounts mentioned by you in your return

You can check your refund status on the TIN-NSDL website by simply entering your PAN (permanent account number) number and the assessment year. The assessment year is 2014-15 for financial year 2013-14

Here is a sample of refund status messages for the delay in your refund and the steps you should take to get your refund processed:

Your refund status is 'No e-filing has been done for this assessment year': Did you miss sending your ITR-V to CPC, Bangalore? After e-filing your return, the Income Tax Department requires you to send them a signed copy of the ITR-V via speed post within 4 months of filing your return. Your return filing process is not complete until you send the ITR-V to them. If you missed sending the ITR-V to Bangalore or if you had sent it but it was not received by the department - your refund may not have been processed

Steps to take - If you did not send your ITR-V or it was not received by the department you may have to file a revised return. Do remember to send the ITR-V after filing your revised return

Your Refund status is 'Refund determined and sent out to Refund Banker': This means your refund claim has been accepted by the income tax department and has been forwarded to the refund banker for processing. Taxpayers can view status of refund 10 days after their refund has been sent by the Assessing Officer to the Refund Banker. The refund banker service will give you the latest details of your refund that may include speed post tracking, error messages in case of incorrect bank details etc

Steps to take - Wait for 10 days for the refund to be credited. Do check your status again if refund is not credited

Your Refund Status is 'Refund unpaid': If your refund is unpaid it could mean that the bank account details (Account Number or IFSC Code) that you submitted to the tax department is wrong, and hence the refund wasn't processed.

Steps to take - Confirm the cause of the problem by entering your PAN number and Assessment Year on the TIN-NSDL website. Once you have identified the cause, correct your details on the IT Department website. Now go to My account > Refund Reissue Request on the IT Department website and update your details for receiving a refund.

You Refund is processed but it is less than what you expected: There may be two reasons for this.

1. Firstly, the Income Tax Act allows an assessing officer to adjust your refund against unpaid dues of previous years. This is allowed under section 245 of the income tax act. In simple words the IT Department wants to adjust refund due to you against a tax demand which is due from you. The AO sends intimation to you regarding this adjustment

Steps to take - The details of your outstanding demand can be viewed on the IT Department website. Go to the tab named e-File and click on Response to Outstanding Tax Demand. Here you can view the details of your demand and also submit a response if you believe 'demand is correct', 'demand is partially incorrect' or if you 'disagree with the demand'. In case no submit response option is shown, the demand has already been finalized by your Assessing Officer. The intimation under section 245 usually states that you need to respond to the Assessing Officer as to why such adjustment shall not be made. You can prepare a suitable response to the AO if you do not agree with the final refund/demand.

2. Second reason for your refund being lower than what you expected could be due to tax credit mismatch. The Income Tax Department usually sends an intimation explaining the TDS mismatch. You can also check tax credit mismatch on the I-T Department website. Go to My account > Tax Credit Mismatch. If you agree with the tax credit mismatch, file a rectification for the year in which there was a mismatch. If TDS was deducted from your income but does not show up on your Form 26AS, you may have to reach out to the deductor to reconcile and revise the TDS return filed by them to correct discrepancies. Once the deductor revises the statement and submits to the department, you can request them to update your TDS details.

Chasing your Income Tax Refunds is certainly taxing. However, with these details you will succeed in getting your refund. Did you know 'Refund paid' status is also reflected in the 'Tax Credit Statements' in Form 26AS.

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