Delays in income tax refunds, even after the stipulated number of months, are faced by many tax payers. Running from pillar to post at the income tax office, having to deal with impolite income tax officials become a part of the ordeal. At such times tax payers often feel helpless with absolutely no recourse. To address such issues, the government has set up the Tax Ombudsman in select cities, to address grievances and to provide tax payers a platform to put forth his issues and problems.

What is the Tax Ombudsman?

The Ombudsman is an independent body initiated by the government and comprises of former Income Tax officials or officials from the Indian Revenue Service. These officers have been empowered to settle grievances and take up matters to the highest authority, with the sole aim of resolving it. They act as an arbitrator and are independent of the jurisdiction of the income-tax department.

Issues handled by Ombudsman:

  • Delay or discrepancy in tax refunds
  • Impolite behaviour of tax officials
  • Interest waiver
  • Seizure of account books by department
  • Issues relating to allotment of Permanent Account Number
  • Non credit of tax paid, including tax deducted at source.
  • Non-acknowledgement of letters or documents sent to the Department
  • Other administrative matters that have been violated

The Ombudsman however will not help if the issue is being looked at as an appeal, revision, reference or writ by any income-tax authority or appellate authority or tribunal or court.

Location of Ombudsman Offices

Currently there are 12 offices for ombudsman, located in Mumbai, Pune, New Delhi, Ahmadabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Chandigarh, Bhopal and Kochi. To locate your nearest Ombudsman click on this:  http://www.incometaxindiapr.gov.in/incometaxindiacr/home.jsp?p1=ombudsman_contacts

Complaints addressed to the Ombudsman could be sent to the nearest Ombudsman Office.

Process to Address Grievances through Ombudsman

Ø Before you approach the ombudsman

If you are facing an issue, before you approach the Ombudsman, you should have already submitted a written complaint with your income tax officer. If the complaint has not been satisfactorily addressed, or if the officer rejects your complaint, or if no reply is received within 30 days of writing the complaint, only then should the issue be raised to Ombudsman. The complaint should be filed with the Ombudsman within one year, after the 30 day wait for a response from the I-T official.

Ø Submitting Documents and Details to Ombudsman

There is no standard format for addressing a complaint to the Ombudsman. However, while filing your complaint to the Ombudsman, the following details must be included.

a) Name, address and PAN of assessee

b) Facts and details about the grievance- date wise complaints filed, responses, and the time gap involved etc

c) Copies of the letter of the first complain made to the income-tax authorities

d) Other documents such as relevant income proof supporting your claim and complaint

e) The relief requested from the Ombudsman

Ø 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 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.

Source: InvestmentYogi is one of the leading personal finance websites in India

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9 responses to “How to Get Your Pending Income Tax Refund: Tax Ombudsman”

  1. Neelam Singh says:

    Sir,

    I have not received refund for tax filing done for the year 2017-2018. Even status is showing as ” e-verified successful” .Can you please help us for same.
    My ack no is :773566030130517 submitted dated 13/5/2017.
    Pan no :AGJPS3017N

    Thanks,

    Neelam Singh

  2. BEENA SURANA says:

    MY NAME IS BEENA SURANA. MY PAN IS AAZPS9329P. I HAVE NOT RECEIVED REFUND FOR 2 YEARS A.Y. 2013-14 & A.Y. 2014-15. I HAVE FILED THE RETURNS IN UDAIPUR I.T. OFFICE. BUT THEY SAID MY PAN IS LYING WITH MUMBAI A.O. OFFICE AND THE HAVE APPLIED FOR ACQUISITION OF PAN AS SOON AS RECEIPT OF RETURN FOR A.Y. 2013-14. BUT TILL NOW NO ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN BY EITHER OF THE I.T. OFFICES. I HAVE SUBMITTED ONLINE GREIVANCE APPLICATION FOR THIS IN INCOME TAX PORTAL BUT SAME HAS NOT BEEN RESPONDED. PLEASE HELP ME GET MY REFUND.

    BEENA SURANA
    +91-7742634534
    jitusurana@yahoo.com

  3. ARUP KUMAR BARAT . says:

    Respected Sir,
    I beg to state that I had submitted “SAHAJ Individual Income Tax Return AY 2013-14” on dated 12 July 2013 to THE INCOME TAX OFFICER,1(3), INCOME TAX DEPARTMENT, VERAVAL, P.O. VERAVAL, DIST- JUNAGARH (GUJARAT). My TDS refund was Rs.2050.00.( Rs. Two thousand fifty. ) only.
    But, the I.T.Department, Veraval had not refund TDS till date.
    I had given letter to the I.T.Department, Veraval and contact over phone.
    But, the I.T.Department, Veraval had not take necessary action .
    I had send two letters to the DIRECTOR GENERAL OF INCOME TAX (ADMINISTRATION) on dated 09.04.2015 and 21.07.2015. But, the DIRECTOR GENERAL OF INCOME TAX (ADMINISTRATION) had not gave any response from his end to refund TDS Rs.2050.00.( Rs. Two thousand fifty. ) only.
    I had send two letters to the OMBUDSMAN (AHMEDABAD) OF INCOME TAX on dated 10.10.2015 and 18.11.2015. But, the OMBUDSMAN (AHMEDABAD) OF INCOME TAX had not gave any response from his end to refund TDS Rs.2050.00.( Rs. Two thousand fifty. ) only.

    Kindly, take necessary action to refund TDS Rs.2050.00.( Rs. Two thousand fifty. ) only from your end.

    Thanking you,
    yours faithfully,
    ARUP KUMAR BARAT (PAN NO.- AFAPB1299M).

    Address:- FLAT NO.- F1, DEV-ASHISH PARK (APPARTMENT),
    NEAR 80 FEET ROAD, P.O.- VERAVAL, DIST.-JUNAGARH,(GUJARAT), PIN CODE:-362265.
    PHONE NO.-09427740901.
    EMAIL ID- arupkumarbarat5@gmail.com

  4. JAYANT Alekar says:

    It surprising that there is accredit refund due to me CPC bengluru sent a recovery challan notice to me.& after protest is not ready to rectify THEIR MISTAKE.

  5. sudip biswas says:

    ITR filed but no refund is issued for the A.Y 2012-13.. but refund has been credited in 26AS..

  6. P.S.R.SWAMI says:

    The CPC, Bangalore made a wrong demand from me for AYs. 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2008-09.vide its lr.CPC/1112/H1/11038627850 dt.19-10-2011 for the amount aggregating to Rs. 89,578. My PAN AJMPP8791L. I received communication from SBI that an amount of Rs.29,280/ refundable to me was adjusted on 23-12-2011 against this demand of CPC. I replied showing all the details that no amount is due from me except Rs.3,563/- which was not paid inadvertently thinking the assessment order wrongly as no challan demanding the amount was attached. I requested to adjust this amount from the amount wrongly adjusted and refund the balance amount and drop the demand. But so far I did not receive any reply though I have been regularly following up with the CPC Bangalore since March 2012, reminded on 29-11-2012 and again reminded on 30-03-2013. Is the TAX payer supposed to bear this for an indefinite period and suffer for the wrong demand made. During my life time since I am a Senior Citizen and completing 68 years by 10-10-2013, I think I can never clear this wrong demand because the wrong demand gets multiplied year by year.

  7. harunal rasid says:

    how to solve that an amount of Rs 917563.72 had been WRONGLY credited into my form 26as FOR THE A.YR 2012-13 but I have submitted my return followed by my actual tds.

  8. harunal rasid says:

    know about the address of ombudsman office in kolkata due to refund yet not received since 2010-11 to till now

  9. vswami says:

    This, on the face of it, is not seen to provide a pragmatic or straight forward hassle-free solution; at least for those tax payers in whose cases the AO has neither cared to send the mandatory Intimation u/s 143 (1)nor granted a genuinely due refund, with no scope left or any need for an inquiry or investigation into the data adequately available on record. If not made truly simple and taxpayer- friendly, the office of ombudsman is bound to go down as yet another eye wash, with no remarkable improvement in the surrounding detestable state of affairs prevailing for long.

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