A taxpayer is eligible for interest on refunds but not all refunds, as per rules. The interest component was missing in the income tax refunds received by many taxpayers.
No interest shall be payable if the amount of refund is less than 10 percent of the tax determined on summary assessment or regular assessment
When and how much interest one is eligible for.
The tax department issues a refund after processing an ITR. One can claim refunds by filing the ITR within a stipulated time. In case your tax liability for the financial year is less than the tax paid, by way of tax deducted at source (TDS), tax collected at source (TCS), advance tax or self-assessment test, you are eligible for tax refunds.
Tarun Kumar, a Delhi-based chartered accountant in a Mint article said, "However, no interest shall be payable, if the amount of refund is less than 10 percent of the tax determined on summary assessment or regular assessment".
For example, if a taxpayer has a tax liability of Rs 5,48,000, his TDS deducted was Rs 5,98,000, a refund of Rs 50,000 can be claimed by filing an ITR. However, in this case, the taxpayer will not be eligible for interest on refund since it is less than the 10 percent of the tax amount.
Had the tax refund amount been higher, he would have been able to claim refunds. In case the refund exceeds the limit, the taxpayer will get due interest. The calculation of interest starts from April of an assessment year.
Kumar added, "If refund arises out of TDS, TCS or advance tax paid during the financial year, the interest shall be calculated at the rate of 0.5% for every month or part of month."
“If ITR has been furnished by the assessee on or before the due date, the interest shall be payable from April 1 of the Assessment Year to the date on which the refund is granted. If the tax return is not furnished by the due date, the interest shall be payable from the date of furnishing return of income to the date on which refund is granted," said Kumar.