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To get tax refund fast, here are 6 mistakes you must avoid
August, 30th 2016

An individual can claim a refund of excess taxes paid through the personal tax return. However, there could be several reasons for the tax refund being pending for long duration, thereby causing distress among the taxpayers.

An individual can claim a refund of excess taxes paid through the personal tax return. However, there could be several reasons for the tax refund being pending for long duration, thereby causing distress among the taxpayers.

As a general process, once a tax return is filed, the income tax department verifies the information furnished, processes the return and grants the refund of excess taxes paid. Normally, a refund could be credited to the taxpayer’s bank account through the electronic clearing system or a refund cheque is issued to the mailing address mentioned in the tax return.

The tax department has also enabled the facility to check refund status online wherein one could identify the status of tax refund by providing PAN details (NSDL website) and the concerned assessment year for which the refund is due.

Though the process of granting the tax refund has been simplified and the tax department has been taking various measures to ensure early grant of refund, there could be a delay in processing the refund due to various reasons.

Non-submission of ITR-V/ e-verification of IT return: Verification or ITR-V is an acknowledgement that your return has been successfully submitted with the I-T department. In the absence of filing of signed ITR-V with the Centralised Processing Centre (‘CPC’) or e-verification of the tax return, the same is considered as not being filed. Hence, the refund amount will not be processed by the tax authorities.

Mismatch in TDS details: Income tax refund could be delayed if the tax paid does not match with the government’s records (Form 26AS). Hence, it is advisable to take a copy of your Form 26AS and compare it with your Form 16/16A before filing the tax return. In case of any mismatch in the tax paid details, you need to intimate the same to the tax deductor for the correction of tax paid details.

Wrong PAN/TAN: Details of PAN/TAN if written wrongly, at the time of filing the tax returns and other personal details (name, assessment year, and so on) can add to your refund woes.

If the mailing address is not updated correctly in the tax return, you will have to wait for refunds. Though direct credit of refunds has removed this problem to a large extent, it is advisable to mention the correct mailing address in the tax return.

Incorrect bank account details: One should furnish the accurate bank account details (bank name, IFSC code, type of account and the account number) while filing the tax return in order to avoid delay in tax refund.

Previous year demands: Current year tax refund could be adjusted towards the outstanding demands of the previous year(s). Hence, it is important to check previous year details and get the demand corrected or clear the outstanding tax dues, if any to avoid hassle for the subsequent year’s refunds.

Pending assessment proceedings: There could be a delay if the tax return is selected for scrutiny assessment and the refund will be granted after completion of scrutiny proceedings.

Though there are no fixed timelines prescribed for the grant of tax refund, one could take few precautionary steps to avoid or minimise the delay in processing the tax refund by the authorities.

The writer is senior tax professional, EY India. Inputs from Garima Agrawal.

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