No income tax refund yet? A step-by-step guide to checking status and reasons for delay

There may be a couple of reasons for the delay in receiving the tax refund.

No income tax refund yet? A step-by-step guide to checking status and reasons for delay


The income tax department, between 8 April and 11 July, issued refunds worth Rs 24,603 crore to 19.79 lakh taxpayers, it stated in a notification on July 17. Due to the ongoing COVID-19-related financial crisis, the department with an aim to provide liquidity to taxpayers has quickened the refund issuance process. But many of you may be still waiting for your refund.

If you have filed your income tax return within a specific period of time and are still waiting for your tax refund, here are the reasons for the delay.

Possible reasons for tax refund delay

Around a month’s time after the processing of ITR, tax refunds are generally issued. Kapil Rana, founder and chairman, HostBooks Ltd, a tax return filing service provider in a livemint article said, “Normally, refunds are processed within 20 to 45 days from the completion of processing of ITR by the Centralised Processing Centre. The taxpayer eligible for a refund claim up to Rs 5 lakh gets direct bank credit within five to seven business days from the issuance of a refund".

There may be a couple of reasons for the delay in receiving the tax refund.

The tax department raises any clarification or query regarding income tax return filing. This may be one of the cases for the delay. Shilpa Bhatia, director, direct taxes, AKM Global, a tax consulting firm in an article said, “Refunds are usually withheld by the department on account of ongoing assessments for the relevant assessment year or on account of a mismatch in the ITR filed and the details available with the department".

If you have received a query from the tax department on your mail, then respond to it quickly.

Simple mistakes such as writing incorrect bank account details in the ITR form could also be the reason for the delay in refund. So, if you have mentioned an incorrect account number in the ITR form then, you can change it online itself.

Steps to check tax refund status 

Check the status of your tax refund to get an idea about when you will get it if you are sure that you haven't made any mistake in filing ITR form.

With the help of 2 websites you can check refund status

- You can check it on the income tax department’s e-filing portal 

- National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL) website

Using your Permanent Account Number (PAN) as your user ID and password under the 'registered user' section, you can log into your account on the e-filing portal (www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in).

Once you are logged in, go to the 'View e-Filed Returns/Forms' section.

 Select income tax returns and the relevant assessment year. 

A new page 'My Return' will open and show the status of your filed return such as ITR filed, verified, ITR processing, issue of refund or status of refund. 

 Under the 'status' menu, you can check the mode of payment, refund amount, date of clearance and so on.

Alternatively, you can check the refund status on NSDL’s website (https://tin.tin.nsdl.com/oltas/refundstatuslogin.html). Enter your PAN and select the relevant assessment year to get details.