Only 6.74 lakh claims for refund of income-tax are pending with the I-T Department after it launched a special drive to clear the pendencies, Parliament was informed today. Responding to a query in the Lok Sabha, the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, said while the department does not maintain records on the quantum of income-tax refunds claimed, as of March 31, 2011, approximately 38.26 lakh returns claiming refund were pending for processing.

“A special drive was launched by the Income-Tax Department to dispose of all the pending refund cases during the first half of the calendar year 2011. As a result, the pendency of returns claiming refund was only 6.74 lakh as on March 31, 2011, which includes such returns filed during the current financial year,” he said.

Mr Pranab Mukherjee said that the E-Refund Scheme, which was initially launched in 2007 on a pilot basis, was three years later rolled out across the country.

“In the scheme, refunds generated on processing of income-tax returns by the assessing officers/CPC Bengaluru are transmitted in a digitised form to the refund banker, currently State Bank of India, Mumbai, on the next day of processing for further distribution to taxpayers,” he said.

Tax refunds pull down net direct tax collection by 8%

Hefty refunds pulled down net direct tax collections by 8.14% to Rs 78,679 crore during the April-July period of this fiscal. Net direct tax collections stood at Rs 85,647 crore in the year-ago period.

Tax refunds rose a robust 183.18% during the April-July period of 2011-12, pulling down net direct tax collections. However, gross direct tax collections during the four-month period were up by 26.63% at Rs 1,32,542 crore as
against Rs 1,04,668 crore a year-ago.

Besides, belying fears of an economic slowdown, gross collection of corporate taxes surged 29.56% at Rs 85,222 crore against Rs 65,776 crore in the corresponding period last year.

Gross collection of personal income tax was up by 21.64% at Rs 47,214 crore from Rs 38,816 crore last year. The growth in wealth tax collection was up by 38.67% during the April-July this fiscal at Rs 104 crore.

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