You can get your IT refund status on the website of TIN-NSDL by entering your PAN and assessment year. For financial year 2013-14, the assessment year is 2014-15 and so on.
Here is some sample of refund status messages when you check online for the progress of your refund and the steps you must take to get your refund processed at the earliest:
If your refund status says 'No e-filing has been done for this assessment year': That means you missed sending your ITR-V to CPC, Bangalore by post. After e-filing your return, the Income Tax Department requires you to send them a signed copy of the ITR-V via speed post within 4 months of filing your return. Your return filing process will not be complete until you send the ITR-V to Central Processing Center of IT (Bangaluru). If you missed sending the ITR-V to Bangalore or if you had sent it but it was not received by the department - your refund may not have been processed
Corrective steps to be taken - If you did not send your ITR-V or it was not received by the department, then print and send your ITR-V (signed and verified by you). Alternately you may have to file a revised return. Do not forget to send the signed ITR-V printout after filing your revised return also.
Steps to take – You can wait for 10 to 12 days for the refund to be credited to your account. Do check your status again if the refund is not reflected in account.
If your Refund Status is showing 'Refund unpaid': If your refund is unpaid it could mean that the bank account details (Account Number or IFSC Code) that you submitted to the tax department is wrong, and hence the refund wasn't processed.
Steps to take - Confirm the cause of the problem by entering your PAN number and Assessment Year on the TIN-NSDL website. After you have found out the cause or problem, correct your details on the IT Department website by following this process.
>>Login using PAN and password.>>Now go to My account >> Refund Reissue Request on the IT Department website and update your correct bank account details including branch details, IFSC, RTGS code for receiving a refund. After doing this the refund reissue process will take place and sent to refund banker State Bank of India again.
You Refund is processed but it is lesser than what you claimed and expected: There may be two reasons for this.
- Firstly, the Income Tax Act allows an assessing officer to prima facie adjust your refund against unpaid dues of previous years. This is allowed under section 245 of the income tax act. In simple words the IT Department wants to adjust refund due to you against a tax demand also called as arrears which is due from the tax payer. The Income tax officer (A.O.) sends intimation to you regarding this adjustment made by him.
- Steps to take - The details of your outstanding demand of earlier years can be viewed on the IT Department website. >> Go to the tab named <e-File> and click on Response to Outstanding Tax Demand. Here you can view the details of your demand and also submit a response if you believe 'demand is correct', 'demand is partially incorrect' or if you 'disagree with the demand'. In case no submit response option is shown, that means the demand has already been determined by your Assessing Officer. The intimation under section 245 from the department states that you need to respond to the Assessing Officer as to why such adjustment shall not be made. You can prepare a suitable response to the AO if you do not agree with the final refund/demand.
- Second reason for your refund coming lower than what you expected could be because of the TDS mismatch or tax credit mismatch. The Income Tax Department in normal course sends an intimation explaining the TDS mismatch. You can also check tax credit mismatch on the I-T Department website. >> Go to My account >> Tax Credit Mismatch. If you are sure that there is a tax credit mismatch between what you filed what is actual TDS, then file a rectification for the year in which there was a mismatch. There could be mismatch in TAN number of the other party, tax (TDS) amount, financial year, assessment year and so on.
- If TDS was deducted from your income but does not show up on your Form 26AS, you may have to reach out to the tax deductor to reconcile and revise the TDS return filed by them to correct discrepancies. After the deductor revises the statement and submits to the department, you can write to them to update your TDS details after which you can also be able to see from the 26AS (TDS statement downloaded).
Chasing for your Income Tax Refunds is surely a herculean task. However, with the above guidance you will succeed in getting your refund. Did you know 'Refund paid' status for a particular assessment year is also reflected in the 'Tax Credit Statements' in Form 26AS which can be downloaded in .pdf format from IT website?
You can also raise RTI if you are not sure what's happening with your refund. Please ensure that in RTI you ask for a specific information that you need.
Author Viren Dedhia is an experienced Chartered Accountant.