The Delhi High Court recently issued an order related to the refund of income tax following an inquiry conducted by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). The case pertains to Assessment Years (AYs) 2020-21 and 2021-22. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the court’s decision and its implications.
Court Order: The petitioner had filed a complaint with the court, claiming that their income tax refunds for AYs 2020-21 and 2021-22 had not been processed.
Details of the Refund Claims:
Response from the Revenue: Mr. Aseem Chawla, who represented the revenue on behalf of the respondents, provided information related to the refunds. He stated that:
Unreceived Refunds: The petitioner’s counsel contended that despite these determinations, the petitioner had not received the specified refund amounts.
Court’s Response and Inquiry: The court took the position that an inquiry was necessary, particularly regarding AY 2021-22, as the refund determination was made on 27.12.2022. The court emphasized that the delay in refund disbursement imposes an additional burden on the public exchequer due to accrued interest. The court directed the revenue to ensure the remittance of the refund to the petitioner within two weeks.
Furthermore, the court instructed Mr. Chawla to present the order to the Chairperson of the CBDT and urged the Chairperson to investigate the reasons behind the delayed refunds.
The court also clarified that any applicable interest on the refund should be paid to the petitioner within the specified timeline.
Conclusion: The Delhi High Court’s order addresses the delay in income tax refunds for AYs 2020-21 and 2021-22 and mandates the remittance of the refund amounts, along with any accrued interest, to the petitioner within two weeks. The court’s decision highlights the importance of prompt refund processing and serves as a reminder of the public exchequer’s interests. The case is scheduled for compliance on 06.10.2023, and all parties are expected to act based on the court’s digitally signed copies of the order.
FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF DELHI HIGH COURT
1. Allowed, subject to just exceptions.
2. The principal grievance of the petitioner is that the refund for Assessment Years (AYs) 2020-21 and 2021-22 has not been remitted.
2.1 According to the petitioner, for AY 2020-21, it is entitled to a refund of Rs.3,38,87,284/-. Likewise, for AY 2021-22, the petitioner claims refund of Rs.2,22,95,140/-.
3. Mr Aseem Chawla, learned senior standing counsel, who appears on behalf of the respondents/revenue, says that he has obtained instructions in the matter.
3.1 According to Mr Chawla, a rectification order under Section 154 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 [in short, “Act”] was passed on 08.02.2023, concerning AY 2020-21, whereby the refund amount of Rs.3,24,74,436/- has been determined.
3.2 Likewise, insofar as AY 2021-22 is concerned, refund amounting to Rs.2,22,95,137/- has been determined in favour of the petitioner, under Section 143(3) of the Act, via order dated 27.12.2022.
4. A co4. py of the communication, along with the computation sheet, has been furnished to the counsel for the petitioner in court today.
5. Counsel for the petitioner, however, says that the aforementioned refund amount, as determined, has not been received by the petitioner.
6. If this position is correct, certainly CBDT needs to inquire, as the determination qua AY 2021-22 was made as far back as on 27.12.2022, whereas the determination with regard to the refund qua AY 2020-21 was made on 08.02.2023, as the interest that has accrued in the meanwhile is a drain on the public exchequer.
7. The respondents/revenue will ensure that the refund amount is remitted to the petitioner within two (2) weeks of the receipt of a copy of the judgment.
8. Furthermore, Mr Chawla will place a copy of the order passed today by us before the Chairperson, CBDT. The Chairperson, CBDT is requested to look into the matter as to why the determined refund is not being remitted to the petitioner.
9. Needless to add, in view of the above, in case any applicable interest has accrued, the same shall also be paid to the petitioner within the same timeline.
10. The writ petition is closed.
11. List the matter for compliance on 06.10.2023.
12. The Registry is directed to scan and upload the hardcopy of the email dated 08.08.2023 and the accompanying documents placed before us, so that the same remains embedded in case file.
13. Parties will act based on the digitally signed copies of the order.