Claiming Income Tax Refund

How to Claim Income Tax Refund?

Tax refund can be claimed by filing your return of income. Usually the return filing due date each year is 31st of July each year unless extended.

How does a tax refund arise?

Refund of tax arises whenever there is excess deduction of taxes from your salary. In case of a salaried individual, this can happen when he/she has failed to declare some investments made by him / her which led to excess tax deduction.

Where to check the refunds?

Refunds can be checked on the website https://tin.tin.nsdl.com to know the status of your refund. You need to enter your PAN and the assessment year to which the refund relates in the relevant fields. If you file your return on 31st July 2016 then the Assessment Year for you is 2016-17 and so on.

If you have filed a return and refund has been claimed but not received.

In case you have filed your return and a refund is due but not received then you have to login to income tax website and login to ‘My Account-My returns/Form’ to know the update on the status of your return. The refund can be in process since because the return hasn’t been processed by the IT department yet or IT department has decided on a ‘no refund due’ after processing. You might not receive the refund even if your contact details like bank account number or postal address are wrong or you were not at home when the cheque was delivered to you.

The refund status can be checked after 2-3 weeks of the ITR being filed and refund can be received in 4-6 months.

Is the refund taxable?

Refund will not be taxable in your hands as it is only the receipt of excess taxes and not income earned. Income earned is taxable and not tax refunds.
However, if you have received interest on tax then this interest portion is taxable according to slab rates applicable to you. This is included as income of the year in which the refund is received.

In order to claim tax refund is it necessary that tax return should have been filed within the due date?

No. You can claim tax refund even if you have filed a belated tax return.

Will I get any additional benefits in refund if I file my Return on the due date instead of filing belated return?

If you have paid excess tax and claim a refund, a belated return will not only mean a delayed refund, but will also fetch you interest for a shorter period. In case of a belated return, interest on your refund is calculated at 0.5 per cent for each month after the month in which the return is filed. But if a return is filed on time, the interest is calculated from the beginning of the assessment year (April).

Say you file the 2015-16 return in November 2016 and claim a refund of ₹50,000. If the refund is paid in April 2017, you get interest on the refund only for 6 months (November 2016 to April 2017) due to the delayed filing. Had you filed the return on time before July 31, you would have got interest on your refund for 13 months (April 2016 to April 2017).

Generally, how long does it take to receive the refund?

The refund is processed within 4 to 8 months from the date of filing your return online.It takes longer if your file your returns physically.

What to do if you do not receive your tax refund?

You need to contact the Central Processing Centre of the Income Tax Department on the numbers 1800 4250 0025, and 080-2650 0025. This number is provided on the government's filing portal.

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