Income Tax Refund Status

Check Income Tax Refund Status – Online Step by step Guide

Tax refundIncome Tax Refund ???

You, as a taxpayer, would get some refund on your paid tax from the Income Tax department when your tax liability is less than the net tax paid by you. The government, on one hand, may be so much insistent on pursuing you to pay your income tax on time. The government also impose penalties for late payment of your taxes. But, on the other hand, they seem not so bothered to refund the excess taxes paid by the individual. It’s a fact that it’s very common for them to delay the refund even by a few months. This causes uncertainty among many people. We shall discuss here some of the questions that pertain to getting your income tax refund back. For example, we will go over the causes for income tax returns, how to claim a refund, if Income Tax department does not refund your excess paid tax what are the other options you have, and what you are required to do if your refund cheque goes missing by any of the reasons.

Prerequisite for Tax Refund Claims

There are so many instances when an individual is eligible to claim a tax refund.

  • When a taxpayer pays an enhanced tax through self-assessment but in actual has a lower tax liability through regular assessment.
  • When the Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) by an employer or bank is found to be higher than that of the tax liability of the taxpayer after regular assessment.
  • If the taxpayer’s income is taxed in a foreign country and was taxed in India as well whereas with which the government of India has an agreement to avoid double-taxation.
  • When the taxpayer has some of the undeclared investments which shall otherwise give him tax benefits during the regular assessment.
Making a Claim for an Income Tax Refund
For claiming a tax refund, income tax return is a must to fill up and submit. Normally, the due date for filing for return of income is 31st of July for previous financial year. Remember that the filling up of your Form 16, whether online or offline, is mandatory if you want to claim a refund. Submit all the concerned documents for a faster refund process.

How much amount can one claim as Income Tax Refund?

To fix the income tax refund taxpayer is eligible for, the taxpayer’s actual tax liability will need to be taken into account and the difference between the final tax liability and the tax paid by the taxpayer will be the actual refund amount that one can claim. Income Tax Department will refund the same amount to the taxpayer after considering all the facts. A taxpayer can calculate his/her final tax liability by using an online Income Tax calculator which is readily available on the income tax site.

How much time will it take to realise the refund?

The actual processing time for refunds is between 3 and 6 months which is from the date on which e-filing returns is submitted online. This may take even longer period if the taxpayer files physical form of tax return.

What shall be the form of tax refund payment?

The taxpayer will get his/her tax refund by either having the amount credited directly to his/her bank account (via NEFT method) or via a cheque. Nowadays income tax department is making NEFTs for tax refund payments.

How to check Tax Refund Status Online?

For checking online, a taxpayer has to login the NSDL-TIN website and enter the respective PAN and assessment year for which refund is sought.

Tax refund

If you have filed your Income Tax for the current financial year and have requested the refund for the same, you can click here to check the status of your current request. Following is a detailed explanation of the various status messages an individual might receive while checking for his/her refund status:

#1
Refund Status: Expired

As a rule, refunds requested for payment expire after 90 days. After the expiry, a refund is marked as expired and cancelled. Claim your expired refund within a window of 90 days. A taxpayer is required to take the following steps if he/she sees this message:

  • If the taxpayer applied for a refund on hard copy, he/she should contact the concerned Assessing Officer of the income tax ward.
  • If the taxpayer applied for a refund through e-filing system, he/she should follow the below-given procedure:
  • The taxpayer has to visit the Income Tax Department’s e-filing portal.
  • The taxpayer shall be required to login using his/her user ID and password as before.
  • The taxpayer will be required to select the “Refund Re-Issue” option under the “My Account” tab.
  • The taxpayer will be required to enter his/her Central Pay Commission (CPC) Communication Reference number and the Refund Sequence Number here.
#2
Refund Status: Refund Returned

When the refund status says that the ‘refund is returned’ it means that the refund was sent through post but it was returned to the sender undelivered. When this happens, the refund amount is cancelled and the same is retained in the Cash Management Product (CMP) Centre. Follow these steps in such cases:

  • If the taxpayer applied for a refund on hard copy, he/she should contact the concerned Assessing Officer of the income tax ward.
  • If the taxpayer applied for a refund through e-filing system, he/she should follow the below-given procedure:
  • The taxpayer should visit the Income Tax Department’s e-filing portal
  • The taxpayer shall be required to login using his/her user ID and password as before.
  • Select here the “Refund Re-Issue” option under the “My Account” tab.
  • The taxpayer will be required to enter his/her Central Pay Commission (CPC) Communication Reference number and the Refund Sequence Number after that.
#3
Refund Status: Processed through direct credit mode but failed

This status is shown when the refund was directly credited to the taxpayer’s given account but the same has failed. The following are the possible reasons for the failure:

  • The subject account has been deactivated before the realisation of payment transfer.
  • Operations on the account have been suspended for any reason.
  • The given account is other than a current or SB account type (viz. a Fixed Deposit/Loan/Public Provident Fund (PPF) account etc.).
  • The subject account is held by an NRI. They have another set of rules to follow in crediting refund in NRIs accounts.
  • The account holder is no more.

The taxpayer should take the following steps if he/she has to deal with such a message:

  • If the taxpayer physically applied for a refund at the first instance, then he/she will need to furnish an operation al valid account details with the concerned authorities. Do not forget to share your account’s IFSC/MICR code with the concerned Assessing Officer. When this information has been updated, the Assessing Officer will be able to re-initiate the tax refund request.
  • If you have used the the e-filing system for applying for a refund, you may follow the below-listed procedure:
  1. You should visit the Income Tax Department’s e-filing portal
  2. Login using your user ID and password as before.
  3. Select the “Refund Re-Issue” option under the “My Account” tab
  4. You will be required to enter your Central Pay Commission (CPC) Communication Reference number and the Refund Sequence Number here.
#4
Refund Status: Paid (Received the ECS refund advice but the subject account has not been credited so far)

If the taxpayer gets an ECS refund advice slip but his/her account has not been credited with the same amount till date, there could be numerous reason behind the delay. It could be because the bank was using the wrong account information to transfer the refund amount or it may be due to a delay in the credit to the taxpayer’s account by the bank. If you are in such a situation, you may follow the below-given steps:

  • If you find that the account information provided by you is correct, you should contact the bank and enquire about the status of the NEFT against Unique Transaction Reference. UTR number or the (National Electronic Clearing Service) NECS sequence number is given on the TIN website.
  • If you find that the account information provided by you is not correct, you should contact the bank to enquire if the amount was credited to a wrong bank account or still held with the bank.
#5
Refund Status – Adjusted against outstanding demand from previous year

Sometimes they can adjust the refund amount of the current year against outstanding balances from previous years (if any). It can be either in-part or in-full, depends upon the size of your refund amount and the amount to be adjusted. You cannot re-raise a refund request in such cases as you owe the amount to the income tax department that was deducted. If you want to verify the outstanding amount, follow the below-given steps:

  • Check the particulars given in the ECS advice slip. If you had filed for a refund on physical copy you can check the details of your outstanding amount with the concerned Ward Assessing Officer.
  • If you have e-filed for returns and demanded a refund, you may take the following steps:
  • Login to the Income Tax Department’s e-filing portal with your username and password as before.
  • Select the option ‘Submit Grievance’ under the Helpdesk tab.
  • As the grievance is related to refund, you should select the CPC option.
#6
Refund Status: Refund is processed through NECS/NEFT and and the refund is failed

There are cases when the refund is processed through NECS/NEFT and it stands failed. Positively verify each and every detail concerned with your account like the account number, account description, MICR/IFSC code given during the timing you filled up the return. Take these steps if you come across such a message:

  • If you have filed for returns physically, contact the concerned Assessing Officer for verifying the account details and re-raise the refund request.
  • If you have e-filed for returns and demanded a refund, you may take the following steps:
  • Login to the Income Tax Department’s e-filing portal with your username and password as before.
  • You should select the ‘My Profile’ option under the ‘Profile Settings’ tab.
  • Verify your account details under this tab and make the changes current. Do not forget to save the changes.
  • After updating the information is complete you can re-raise a refund request.

The crux of all this information is that, give your correct information while filling out your income tax return and before final submission double verifies the information entered. This should save you a lot of trouble later on.

One more thing, the amount you have received as tax refund is not taxable! But, if you have gained interest on the refund amount, you will have to pay tax on the interest, as per your tax slab. Nevertheless, they pay 0.5% per month of interest on the refund amount. But to earn that interest the refund amount should be more than 10% of the tax payable by you.