E-filing of income tax return (ITR) has not only made the process easier, but also reduced the time taken for refunds. This year, the tax department has started the facility of electronic verification of ITR for assessment year (AY) 2015-16 through an electronic verification code (EVC). According to the department’s website, around 3.5 million e-returns for AY 2015-16 have already been verified through EVC. As on 7 September, about 4.5 million returns of AY 2015-16 have been processed, and more than 2.2 million taxpayers have got their refunds. If you are awaiting your tax refunds, you can track its status.
WHEN ARE YOU ENTITLED TO A REFUND?
If excess income tax has been deducted, you are eligible to claim a refund. This could be because of extra tax deducted at source (TDS) either by your employer or banks. Banks deduct TDS on interest earned on fixed deposits if it exceeds Rs.10,000 a year. For claiming a tax refund, you have to file ITR. If you have missed the deadline of 7 September 2015 for last FY, you can file a belated return. You can do so within a year from the end of the AY in which the return was to be filed. So, for FY2014-15 (i.e., AY2015-16), you can file your ITR by 31 March 2017, and claim the refund of excess taxes paid.
WHERE CAN YOU CHECK?
You can track the status of your refund on www.incometaxindia.gov.in or www.tin-nsdl.com. Click on “Status of Tax Refunds” tab, enter your permanent account number (PAN) and the AY for which you want to track the refund. The message will show mode of payment, a reference number, status and date of refund.
The State Bank of India (SBI) processes refund claims. Taxpayers can get refunds through two modes—electronic clearing system (ECS) and by cheque or demand draft. For ECS, select this option while filing ITR, and give your bank account number, magnetic ink character recognition (MICR)code and communication address.
For taxpayers who have not opted for ECS refund, cheque or demand draft will be sent. For this, the taxpayer needs to provide her bank account number and mailing address in the ITR. If you have received a ‘refund paid’ communication, and websites also show a similar status, but the money has not been credited to your account, contact your bank or SBI.
You can contact SBI at Cash Management Product, State Bank of India SBIFAST 31, Mahal Industrial Estate Off Mahakali Caves road, Andheri (East) Mumbai-400 093, or call on helpdesk number 1800-425-9760 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In other cases, contact Aaykar Sampark Kendra at 0124-2438000 or email at email@example.com. You can even contact your assessing officer if you do not get a satisfactory reply from any of the above.