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.