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Prof. Krutesh Patel, CA

I filed Income Tax return of my client in July 2012 for assessment year 2012-13 which was very well before the due date of 31 July 2012. I filed another return of my client in March 2013, which was approximately 9 months late. But see the irony! The Return filed in month of March got processed and return Filed in the Month of July is still not processed.

What was the difference between these two returns? Apparently nothing. Both were nil tax Return, showing income below the taxable limit.  But there was a huge difference. The March return didn’t have any tax payable or receivable while return of July contained refund of tax.

Yes, Income tax department is playing smart. We studied LIFO or FIFO rule of work. But Income tax department has new rule. Process returns with nil tax liability or having tax demand. But don’t process returns which have refund payable. Why? If you don’t process return, liability to refund tax does not arise. That’s as simple as that.

Everyone knows that Government is striving of cash. Income Tax department could not meet collection target due to slow down in economy. Hence, they resort to window dressing. They are keeping taxpayer’s refund money at hold or raising income tax demand enthusiastically.

If you don’t pay your tax of Rs. 10,000, you will be served notices. Your bank accounts may be freezed or property may be auctioned. But the same rule not applies, when you have to claim your money back from government. They can keep your processing of return on hold, just because they don’t want to return your money. It is breach of trust which number of taxpayers has kept in new online system & in Income Tax Department. Just as government expects honesty from public, public also expects the same from government.

Government should take honest steps to ensure faster refund of taxpayer’s hard earned money which is legally due to them.

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