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Employer to blame for excess tax refund delay
September, 05th 2009

Many government employees do not get refund of excess tax deducted at source (TDS) from the income-tax department in time because of what they say I-T department's laxity. There are, however, other reasons for this delay, one of them being the fact that many a drawing and disbursing officer (DDO) of the state and Central government offices in Bihar and Jharkhand have not obtained the TAN (tax deducted at source account number).

These DDOs, on behalf of the employer, deduct tax from the salaries of employees. Only 60% of the estimated 50,000 such DDOs of the two states have obtained TAN.

The I-T commissionerate of Bihar/Jharkhand (TDS) has now launched a month-long special drive, christened `Operation Sampark' to ensure that all the DDOs of Central and state governments get TANs.

"Employees suffer due to laxity of their DDOs," said a senior I-T official, adding the TDS benefits are not passed on to the employees because TAN is a must for proper accounting of tax deducted at source.

He said in the absence of TAN, an employee's tax deducted at source is not shown in the I-T records against the name of the particular employee. The tax refund process is, therefore, kept in abeyance. "There are thousands of such cases pending," the taxman said.

Incidentally, the I-T Act provides for a penalty of Rs 10,000 on the DDOs for their failure to obtain a TAN.

During the special drive, designated I-T officials would carry out an operation in all the revenue districts of Bihar and Jharkhand and send TAN allotment application forms to respective treasury officers with a request to distribute the same to all DDOs. The completed forms can then be submitted to the treasury officers from whom the I-T officials would collect the same.

The DDOs who would fail to obtain TAN during the drive would be later contacted personally so as to achieve the target of giving TAN to all the DDOs.

Subsequently, steps would be taken to ensure that all the DDOs file their TDS returns for the fiscal year 2007-08 and 2008-09. Filing of TDS returns is a must but many DDOs do not file the returns because they do not have TAN.

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