CBDT halves refunds issue timeline to 15 days for this fiscal

Concerned over the rising cases of refund-related grievances of the tax-paying public, CBDT Monday issued fresh directions to the Income Tax Department asking it to process all such cases, pending this fiscal, within 15 days instead of the stipulated 30 days.www.taxxcel.com

images

 

 

 

 

“In view of the large volume of pending refunds which are subject to proceedings under section 245 and the timeline of 30 days for responding to the notice allowed to the assessee and the same time period allowed to the assessing officer to confirm or correct the demand, it is taking too long for the demand to be verified and the refunds to be issued, leading to rise of grievances.

“With a view to clear the pendency of refunds which are subject to verification under section 245, it has been decided that the timeline of 30 days for the assessee and the assessing officer may be reduced to 15 days with regard to the notices issued under section 245 to be issued in the balance period of the current financial year,” an order issued by CBDT said.

This is a one-time measure to clear the backlog of refunds and accordingly the reduced timeline of 15 days shall be valid only till March 31, 2016, it said.

A senior official said this is possibly the first time that the department has been issued such directions vis-a-vis clearance of refund cases and the timeline to issue refunds has been reduced to 15 days.

Central Board of Direct Taxes Chairman Atulesh Jindal has himself approved the order, he added. The order pertains to refunds pending till the 2015-16 financial year.

As part of its aim to ease refunds, CBDT had sometime back directed the IT department to take “urgent” steps and resolve by March-end tax demand disputes worth over Rs 16,000 crore of more than 1.49 lakh taxpayers.

The directions pertain to notices issued by the taxman to a number of assessees under section 245 of the IT Act for 2015-16 fiscal where the latter have contested the demand raised and have emailed their response to the CPC.

An official data had said an outstanding amount of Rs 16,590.22 crore is locked in disputes as 1,49,321 individuals or entities have raised objections to demands made by taxmen.

“As many of these cases are time-barred by March 31, 2016, the jurisdictional assessing officers may be impressed upon to examine the response of the taxpayers urgently and take appropriate action in respect of such demand entries..,” the CBDT had said in a recent order.

The Board, in this regard, had earlier asked its Bengaluru-based Central Processing Centre (CPC) to take a step-by-step action in these cases within one month.www.taxxcel.com

The Board had said that when a taxpayer contests a demand, the CPC should issue a reminder to the AO concerned about the contention of the assessee, asking them to either confirm or make appropriate changes to the demand within 30 days.

“In case no response is received from the jurisdictional AO within the stipulated period of 30 days, CPC would issue refunds without any adjustment,” the CBDT order had said.

The delay in processing and issuance of IT refunds had also attracted the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year and, after a review of the subject, he had directed the CBDT to resolve these issues promptly.

Income Tax Department Lists Norms for Faster Tax Refunds

The CBDT has issued guidelines for expeditious tax refund of up to Rs. 5,000 in cases where the department wants to adjust the refund with a pending demand, which has been contested by the assessee.

The guidelines would help further streamline the process of refunds. Between mid-April and January, the Income Tax department has issued a record Rs. 65,000 crore worth refunds.

“Where the tax payer has contested the demand, Central Processing Centre (CPC) would issue a reminder to the Assessing Officers about the contention of the tax payer, asking them to either confirm or make appropriate changes, to the demand within 30 days,” the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said in an office memorandum.

The CBDT, further, said where the tax demand has not been contested by the assessee, the CPC would issue a reminder to the taxpayer asking to either agree or disagree with the demand and submit response on the e-filing portal within 30 days.

The office memorandum relates to cases where a notice has been served under Section 245 of the I-T Act to the assesse wherein the I-T Department wants to adjust refund due to an assessee against a demand pertaining to an earlier assessment year.

taxrefund

Last month, CBDT had directed CPC-Bengaluru and field units that refunds up to Rs. 5,000, and refunds in cases where outstanding arrears are up to Rs. 5,000 may be issued without any adjustment of outstanding arrears. The move was aimed at expediting the process of issue of small refunds.

Commenting on the guidelines, KPMG in India Tax (Partner) Vikas Vasal said: “Adjustment of refunds against outstanding demands, has been a matter of concern for the tax payers for some time now. The recent instructions regarding refund process are a move in the right direction”.

The CBDT said in case where assessee had contested the tax demand, and there is no response from AO to the reminder sent by CPC, then the CPC would issue the refund without any adjustment.

“The responsibility on non-adjustment of refund against outstanding arrears would lie with the AO,” the CBDT said.

With regard to cases where there is no response from tax payer to the reminder notice from CPC, the CPC would adjust the demand along with applicable interest, against the refund due and issue the balance refund, if any, to the tax payer.

The committee formed to simplify I-T Act under Justice R V Easwar had also recommended that the tax refund process should be streamlined and the procedural issues be ironed out to avoid unnecessary litigation.

“It is expected that suitable changes are likely to be made in the forthcoming Union Budget to further smoothen the refund process,” Vasal added. www.taxxcel.com

Waiting for Income Tax refund? Here is some Good News

In a taxpayer-friendly move, the government has directed income tax officials to issue refunds in cases where outstanding arrears are up to Rs 5,000 without any adjustment.

In an initiative to reduce taxpayer grievances and enhance taxpayer satisfaction, the Central Board of Direct Taxes had issued instructions to the Central Processing Centre (CPC), Bengaluru and the field officers in December to issue refunds of amounts less than Rs 50,000 expeditiously.

“In order to further expedite the process of issue of small refunds, CBDT has also directed CPC-Bengaluru and the field units that refunds up to Rs 5,000, and refunds in cases where outstanding arrears are up to Rs 5,000 may be issued without any adjustment of outstanding arrears,” said CBDT, the apex policymaking body of the Income Tax Department.

As a result of the special drive to issue smaller refunds in December, as many as 18,28,627 refunds below Rs 50,000, involving a sum of Rs 1,793 crore, have been issued between December 1, 2015 and January 10, 2016, CBDT said.

These refunds relate to assessment years 2013-14 to 2015-16.

In another statement, CBDT said reducing litigation with the taxpayers has been a key focus area for the Income Tax Department.taxrefund

“Several initiatives have been taken by the Central Board of Direct Taxes in the last three months up to December 2015 to significantly reduce disputes and provide relief to taxpayers facing long standing litigation,” it said.

The significant steps taken by CBDT include issue of a circular revising the monetary limits for filing of appeals by the department with the objective of reducing litigation as a part of its initiatives to reduce grievances of the taxpayers.

CBDT has also directed principal chief commissioners to constitute a collegium of chief commissioners of income tax to consider withdrawal of appeals filed by the department in cases involving tax effect above certain monetary limit.

www.taxxcel.com

Want your income tax refund quickly? Here are 8 things you must do

Many times taxpayers don’t get Income Tax refund on time and they curse the Income Tax Department for the delays. On the contrary, it has been observed that in majority of cases, the mistakes are on the part of taxpayers themselves that causes delay in processing of Income Tax Return (ITR) and issuance of refund.

So, let’s learn what measures one can take in order to receive Income Tax refund quickly.

1. File your Income Tax Return on time: People who file their Income Tax Return on time get their Income Tax Refund (if any) quickly as their Income Tax Return (ITR) gets processed on time. Thus, it enables the Income Tax Department to release their refund (if any) directly to their bank account. Although the last date of filing of Income Tax Return for the financial year 2014-15 has been extended till  31st Aug 2015, it is advisable to file Income Tax Return as early as possible as this will lead to quicker processing of your Income Tax Return.

2. File your Income Tax Return Online: From June, 2015, Income Tax Department (ITD) has made it mandatory for people seeking Income Tax Refund to file their Income Tax Return online. So, please make a note to e-file your Income Tax Return for this financial year if you were not doing it in previous years. Failing to do so, will debar you from getting any Income Tax Refund.

3. Crosscheck the TDS/Self assessment tax paid mentioned in Form 16 with Form 26AS: It is very important that you crosscheck the details of TDS (as mentioned in Form 16 or Form 16A) or Self Assessment tax or Advance Tax with Form 26AS. Actually the income tax authorities take the figures of Form 26AS as final for giving tax credits to tax payers during the processing of income tax return. Crosschecking of Form 26AS is done to assure  thatassure that the figures of Form 16 corresponds with the figures mentioned in form 26AS which26AS that finally results in claiming tax credits smoothly.

4. Choose the right ITR form to file Income Tax Return: Make sure that you choose correct Income Tax Return form to file Income Tax Return. People often file their tax return using incorrect ITR form which makes Income Tax Department unable to process Income Tax Return and thus it causes delays in Income Tax Refund. Choosing the right ITR form to file Income Tax Return ensures faster processing of Income Tax Return and thus quicker  refundquicker refund.

5. Provide correct TAN no. of TDS deductor: Mentioning of Correct TAN No. of Deductor in Income Tax Return assumes prime importance. You can locate the TAN no. from Form 16 or Form 16A (as the case may be) received from the TDS deductor. If the TAN no. of deductor mentioned in ITR does not match with Form 16 then you may end up losing your tax credits and will deprive you of any income tax refund. You may even get a notice from Income Tax Department for shortfall in taxes.  So be very cautious while filling TAN No. of Deductor in Income Tax Return.

6. Provide correct Bank Account details:  From June, 2015, Income Tax Department will release the refund directly into the bank account of the tax payer (also called ECS). The earlier option of refund via cheque at the taxpayer’s address has been abolished. So, it becomes very important that one provides correct bank details such as bank account no. , IFSC code of the bank branch, MICR code, etc. in his tax return. This enables smooth issuance of refund by Income Tax Department.

7. Send the ITR-V to CPC Bangalore within 120 days of e-filing: If you have e-filed your tax return without digital signature or without Aadhar card EVC (Electronic verification) mechanism then you are required to send the completely filled ITR-V form duly signed to CPC (Central Processing Center), Bangalore within 120 days of e-filing your Income Tax Return. If you fail to do so then your Income Tax return will become void and thus you will be deprived of tax refund.

8. Keep Tracking the Status of Intimation U/s 143(1):  Once Income Tax Department gets done with the processing of your Income Tax Return you will receive an email called Intimation u/s 143(1) telling you that your Income Tax Return has been processed. In that intimation mail, you will get information about any tax or interest, you are required to pay to Income Tax Department or any Income Tax Refund is due to you. So, it is very important that you keep an eye on intimation u/s 143(1) as if you don’t receive the Income Tax Refund expected by you, corrective measures can be taken.

So just observe the above points carefully during the tax filing and you will receive Income Tax refund without any hassles. http://taxxcel.com

Issue of refunds of smaller amounts – regarding

www.taxxcel.com

 

In an initiative to reduce taxpayer grievances and enhance the taxpayer satisfaction, the Central Board of Direct Taxes had issued instructions to Central Processing Center (CPC), Bengaluru and the field officers in December, 2015 to issue refunds of amounts less than Rs.50,000/- expeditiously.

As a result of the special drive to issue smaller refunds, 18,28,627 refunds below Rs.50,000/- involving a sum of Rs.1,793 crore have been issued between 1 st December, 2015 and 10th January, 2016. These refunds relate to Assessment years 2013-14 to 2015-16.

In order to further expedite the process of issue of small refunds, CBDT has also directed CPC-Bengaluru and the field units that refunds up to Rs.5,000/-, and refunds in cases where outstanding arrears are up to Rs.5,000/- may be issued without any adjustment of outstanding arrears. Office Memorandum F. No. 312/109/2015-OT dated 14th January 2016, conveying these directions of CBDT is available on the website of the Department www.incometaxindia.gov.in.

Waiting for Income Tax Refund? Here is Some Good News

In a taxpayer-friendly move, the government has directed income tax officials to issue refunds in cases where outstanding arrears are up to Rs 5,000 without any adjustment.

In an initiative to reduce taxpayer grievances and enhance taxpayer satisfaction, the Central Board of Direct Taxes had issued instructions to the Central Processing Centre (CPC), Bengaluru and the field officers in December to issue refunds of amounts less than Rs 50,000 expeditiously.

“In order to further expedite the process of issue of small refunds, CBDT has also directed CPC-Bengaluru and the field units that refunds up to Rs 5,000, and refunds in cases where outstanding arrears are up to Rs 5,000 may be issued without any adjustment of outstanding arrears,” said CBDT, the apex policymaking body of the Income Tax Department.

As a result of the special drive to issue smaller refunds in December, as many as 18,28,627 refunds below Rs 50,000, involving a sum of Rs 1,793 crore, have been issued between December 1, 2015 and January 10, 2016, CBDT said.

These refunds relate to assessment years 2013-14 to 2015-16.

In another statement, CBDT said reducing litigation with the taxpayers has been a key focus area for the Income Tax Department.

“Several initiatives have been taken by the Central Board of Direct Taxes in the last three months up to December 2015 to significantly reduce disputes and provide relief to taxpayers facing long standing litigation,” it said.

The significant steps taken by CBDT include issue of a circular revising the monetary limits for filing of appeals by the department with the objective of reducing litigation as a part of its initiatives to reduce grievances of the taxpayers.

CBDT has also directed principal chief commissioners to constitute a collegium of chief commissioners of income tax to consider withdrawal of appeals filed by the department in cases involving tax effect above certain monetary limit.