Income tax refunds may get delayed for a fortnight, following a complete revamp of security buffers in the computer software system of tax departments across the country, after the discovery last week that someone had hacked into an account and made off with Rs 11 crore.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes has suggested to income tax departments across the country to go slow on refunds for at least a fortnight, till the process is done. Meantime, it has directed a revamp of the security system in the software of the department, which include changing the passwords and sanitising the other security buffers.

Over the fortnight, all officers have been asked to take stock of refund claims and check their validity.

Last week, around Rs 11 crore of refunds were discovered to have been stolen, by hacking into the password of one of the assessing officers in charge of crediting the refunds into the electronic clearing system. The amount was credited to fake accounts .Sources said all these amounts were on electronically filed returns.

The Mumbai income tax office has sent the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation for tracing the beneficiary. Banks have been asked to help.

Refunds in 2009-10 are double the amount witnessed last year at the same time, at Rs 12,421 crore . In January 2008-09, the tax department refunded Rs 6,899 crore. Sources said refunds this year are high since these were deferred last time.

The refunds comprise Rs 11,611 crore ( Rs 6,370 crore last time) in corporate tax, Rs 796 crore ( Rs 528 core) in personal tax and Rs 13.8 crore (Rs 0.90 crore ) on others, which include fringe benefit tax, security transaction tax, banking transaction tax, etc.

…after hacker makes off with Rs 11 crore Over the fortnight, all officers have been asked to take stock of refund claims and check their validity

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  1. vijayendra says:

    It is almost since 12 years that I am waiting for refund of about Rs. 4500/ being excess tax paid at Patna office of IT Dept. My reminders have not elicited any response from the Patna ITO. Is there any way I can get back this amount from IT Dept. Do they reconcile their bank accounts vis-a-vis refund orders issued and those that are not presented for payment. Is it permissible to set off this amount against the amount of tax payable this year.

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February 2024