Here are some of the things to do for while handling the entire income tax refund process so that you can receive the same quickly:-
File the income tax return in time – The entire tax refund process starts with them taking some specific action. For any tax payer, doing nothing will not yield any result in any benefit on the tax front. Thus if there is some outcome desired, then there will have to be efforts to get that particular outcome. When it comes to the question of getting an income tax refund, the first thing that has to be done is to file an income tax return which mentions all the correct figures about the income, deductions and tax paid. This will result in a demand for the refund based on documentary evidence. Filing the income tax return is just a part of the process because doing this by the due date will ensure that this helps the tax payer in getting the refund. There are different due dates for people falling in different categories. It is not that missing the initial due date will kill the refund, as you could still get your refund if you file the returns a bit late. But, there are some conditions under which this will happen. Otherwise you can find the entire process delayed and in several cases the workings will change and hence to avoid such a situation it is better that you are able to file it in time and then move ahead on the process,
Give complete information – It is also important to avoid mistakes and disputes in the tax calculation process by giving all the required information which is also the right information. This will ensure that all the details are available with the tax authorities for them to be able to make the required workings and then quickly issue a refund. Otherwise, there could be a lot of time wasted in the process of giving the information as the tax officer will call for the information and this will then be sent by the tax payer which will be evaluated and then the effect given to arrive at the final situation. Giving complete information will cover all the details about the income that has been earned plus the details of the tax saving investments or deductions, tax paid details as well as the other information that is required in the tax return form. Filling in the appropriate form that is required will also be helpful for the individual and it will ensure that the process has been completed properly.
Give TDS and other tax paid information and Match them 26AS statement– There are a lot of times when the key information related to the tax actually paid by or on behalf of the tax payer is not given. A refund case will arise when there is some tax that is collected by the government when this should not have been done or that the tax collected is in excess of what should actually be collected. In such a situation giving the complete information about the tax that has been deducted and then taken with the government is vital. Further if there is some additional tax that has been paid on behalf of the tax payer then this should also be mentioned so that these can be traced and then the individual will get the refund quickly. Now there is also the facility of checking the tax paid details through the website of the tax department (also called Form 26AS) and the tax payer can also check that the figure of tax that they are showing as being paid matched with the amount deposited with the government. If this is done then it will help the refund process speed up.
Paying attention to details- While preparing and filing the income tax return it is important that the individual looks at some information carefully to ensure that this is reflected appropriately. The bank account details mentioned in the return need to be correct so that the amount of the refund can come directly here thus saving time for the tax payer. Further giving the right working and calculations in the income and tax figures will help in ensuring that the process is cleared quickly. All this will go on to ensuring that there is an early refund that awaits the tax payer leading to less wastage in time as well as effort.
By making application under RTI Act – If your refunds, rectifications, other matters like not getting orders to give effect to the Appellate orders, etc. are pending since long, reminders not bringing any results, you may make application under the RTI Act to the Commissioner of Income-tax (CIT), under whose jurisdiction you are assessed to tax. The CIT has to dispose your application within thirty days of the receipt of the request (S. 7 of the RTI Act). In other words, normally you will get your work done within these 30 days; i.e., Assessing Officer will send the required orders like intimations, orders u/s. 154, etc. with refunds, etc. and the CIT then will reply to your application within 30 days, stating that your application has been attended and you must have received the refund orders, etc. At times, there may be delay in getting some refunds as in my case, but you will get them ultimately.
Read more on the Topic – Get Income Tax Refund by making application under RTI Act
Application to Income Tax Ombudsman
As a first measure you can write to Income Tax Ombudsman stating the facts about non-receipt of your income tax refund. As per rough estimates, 95% of the complaints to the Income Tax Ombudsman relate to grievances of the tax payer for non-receipt of income tax refund or short receipt of income tax refund. The role of Income Tax Ombudsman has turned out to be very effective in case(s) of chronic delays in issuance of income tax refunds due to loss of relevant documents in the Income tax department.
You can follow the process below to claim your income tax refund:
Resolving of Complaints – The Ombudsman acts as an intermediary between the Income Tax Department and the tax payer. It tries to resolve the issue by hastening the process. The Ombudsman has the power to pay penal interest for the duration of the delay. For cases where no resolution is passed in a month’s time of receiving the written complaint, Ombudsman could pass a decision called award. If deemed probable, a monetary compensation could be paid by the Ombudsman. The income tax ombudsman will try to get the matter settled through conciliation and mediation between the Income Tax Department and the person who has filed the grievance with him. by passing an ‘award’ in accordance with the Guidelines. In most of the case of refund due, the refund due is issued once the complaint received by you is forwarded to the concerned assessing officer by the office of Income Tax Ombudsman.
The Decision of the Ombudsman –The Ombudsman has been empowered by the government to help tax payers and also better the whole tax process. All decisions taken would be in line with the prevailing tax laws and only if the submitted documents are deemed fit. The decision of the Ombudsman thus has to be abided by the Income Tax Department and the tax payer. Once the Ombudsman decision is passed, tax payers need to make known their acceptance of the ombudsman decision of the final settlement within 15 days of receiving the letter stating the ombudsman’s decision, or as per the time frame mentioned in the letter. If one fails to do so, any award proposed shall lapse and be of no effect.
For more info on Income Tax Ombudsman you can read Income-tax Ombudsman Guidelines 2010