All those who have filed their income tax returns at nearby post offices may be in for a pleasant surprise. They may get their refunds ahead of those who filed their returns at income tax offices.
The revenue department is working out a system, under which designated officers will be appointed to assess the post office returns irrespective of the zonal jurisdiction of the assessees, and issue refund orders. Only in the case of refunds, which are more than Rs 25,000, would the returns be sent to the zonal assessing officer for cross verification of information.
In fact, even income tax returns filed online may also be able to get their refunds early, sources told ET. Earlier, department spokesperson said refunds have to be processed within four months. Currently if a person in one zone files returns in another zone, the returns and PAN have to be transferred to the assessing officer to which the individual belongs.
The designated officer would be nominated for all the 36 cities which are networked and have data servers of the tax department. This could act as a precursor to the zone-free filing of returns, which the department aims to switch over to by next fiscal.
The zone-free filing would happen when the department switches to single server from 36 currently. Income tax department received over 1.26 crore individual returns as against 77 lakh last year.
Though the facility to file returns through post offices was introduced only six days before the July 31 deadline, the department has received over four lakh returns through this route.