Delay in issuance of income tax refunds has topped the list of complaints received by Income Tax Ombudsman (North West Region) within three months of setting up of its office in New Delhi.

“Over 60 per cent of complaints lodged by income tax assessees since the commencement of office here are related to delay in issuance of tax refunds,” revealed Income Tax Ombudsman Pamela Bhandari.

Income Tax Ombudsman has received 21 complaints so far from income tax payers and out of which 13 grievances pertained to tax refunds issue and rest are of income tax scrutiny cases or other administrative matters, she said.

These grievances are mainly originated from Ludhiana, Patiala, Faridabad, Panchkula, Amritsar and Mohali, she further said.

Observing that people are still unaware of the functioning of the Income Tax Ombudsman, she said, “The main objective of the office will be to redress the grievances of common citizens who are facing problems with income tax department such as delay in tax refunds, interest waiver, seizure of account books by department, allotment of Permanent Account Number, rude behaviour of tax officials and other matters which are administrative in nature.”

She said the tax payer just has to write a complaint to the Ombudsman office along with any supportive documents and the effort would be to redress it within a month.

Bhandari further said that the decision of Income Tax Ombudsman would be binding upon both income tax department and tax payer.

With an objective to protect the rights of tax payers by redressing their grievances, the government had announced to set up Ombudsman in 2006.

So far 12 Income Tax Ombudsmen are functioning at several places including Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kanpur, Chennai, Pune, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bhopal and Kochi.

Chandigarh region of Income Tax Ombudsman (NWR) started functioning in December last year and its jurisdiction has over Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and UT Chandigarh.

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