Waiting for your tax refund? Know the reasons for delay and check the status

Income tax refunds could be delayed in case the income tax department raises any clarification or query

Waiting for your tax refund? Know the reasons for delay and check the status

The income tax department stated in a notification, dated 17 July, that it has issued refunds worth ₹24,603 crore to 19.79 lakh taxpayers between 8 April and 11 July. The department has expedited the refund issuance process with an aim to provide liquidity to taxpayers given the ongoing financial crisis due to covid-19, but there could still be many of you waiting for your refund.

If you haven’t got your tax refund yet despite filing your income tax return (ITR) within the specified timeline, read on to know what could be the possible reasons for the delay. We also tell you how to check the status of your tax refund.

Reasons for delay

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

But there could be a couple of reasons for delay in receiving tax refund.

One, refunds could be delayed in case the tax department raises any clarification or query. “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," said Shilpa Bhatia, director, direct taxes, AKM Global, a tax consulting firm.

So, check your mail to see if you have received a query from the tax department. If you have, respond to it quickly.

Two, tax refunds could be rejected due to simple mistakes like furnishing incorrect bank account details in the ITR form.

So, check the bank account details you have mentioned in the ITR on the income tax portal. If it is incorrect, you can update it online itself.

How to check tax refund status

Once you ensure that you haven’t made any mistake, check the status of your tax refund to estimate when you would get it.

There are two ways of checking the status of your refund. You can check it on the income tax department’s e-filing portal as well as on National Securities Depository Ltd’s (NSDL) website.

You can log into your account on the e-filing portal (www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in ) using your Permanent Account Number (PAN) as your user ID and password under the “registered user" section. 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 will 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 the relevant details.