The income tax department is actively considering a proposal of refund bank. If the proposal comes through, income tax refund function of the department would be routed through a bank. This would be done on the lines of the issue of permanent account numbers being outsourced.
This would make getting income tax refunds easier for tax payers. As per the proposal, the tax refund function of the department would be routed through refund bankers which will credit refund to assessees. This would be designed on the lines of allotment of permanent account numbers by NSDL and UTIISL, said sources.
The refund banker would credit refund to assessees either in paper form or paper less form through the electronic clearing system. The income tax department would asssess an individuals tax returns and if there is a case of refund forwards the name to bank.
The department would compile a list of such assessees and the quantum of refund which will then be sent to the bank in electronic mode. The banks would get some charges from the department for rendering this service.
The department has already discussed the proposal with certain banks. It would be worked out in tandem with the introduction of zone-free return filing.
With the zone-free filing, an assessee in one city (zone) would be able to file his or her return in another city (zone). This would happen with the department going for a consolidated single server instead of multiple ones at different locations, as at present. It will also enable assessees to receive refunds in same manner.