Do you have any idea about your income tax refund status ? Have you filed your Income tax return long back, but have no idea when will you get your tax fund ? This is one issue faced by millions of tax payers in India. They file a income tax return where they claim back their income tax refund, but have no idea what happens to their cases after that!.
For months and years, they keep waiting for the refund status, but they have no idea when they will get their money back. Ideally they should get it back in few months, but in many cases they wait for as long as 3-4 yrs. In this article, we will see how you can find out your income tax refund status online and how you can use RTI application to find out the status of your tax refund and speed up the process of getting it back.
How to find income tax refund status online
If you have filed income tax return asking for your tax refund, and you have no clue about the current status, the first thing you do is track it’s status online. All you need is your PAN number and assessment year for which you have applied for refund. Here is what you need to do
- Visit http://tin.tin.nsdl.com/oltas/refundstatuslogin.html
- Enter your PAN number
- Select Assessment Year
- Click Submit
You can also track your income tax refund status by contacting the help desk of SBI at 080-26599760 or contacting the Aaykar Sampark Kendra at 0124 2438000
File RTI application for income tax refund status
If you are not able to do much and you feel that just finding out online status is not helping you and you want to now get 100% clarity about your tax refund status, the next step is to file RTI application against income tax department. We have earlier seen how one can use RTI to find EPF withdrawal or transfer status and how their issues were solved within weeks and months of filing a RTI against EPFO. So your next step is to file RTI in your tax refund case also. but you should wait for at least a year before you file for RTI against the income tax department.
Note that the RTI application has to be addressed to CPIO officer. Now the next question is how to find out the CPIO information. Its actually not organised in a clean manner, but you need to start by going to this website http://www.
What should you ask while filing RTI
- You should ask for name and designation of the officer who is supposed to process your income tax refund claim
- Also ask for the officer official address and his contact number
- Also ask for how long the refund is pending with the officer and the reason for the delay
- Ask if some senior authority has instructed for delay and the certified copies if any
- Also ask for the name, telephone number and address of the higher officer with whom you can file the first appeal
These above mentioned 5 things if asked in RTI, will be enough to move the earth below the concerned authorities feet and they might act faster on your case, because in most of the cases there are no valid reasons for delay. The delay is created just because of lethargy and at times in expectation that someone will visit them and bribe them to process the request!. Note that only the concerned person can file the RTI, no one else on his behalf can file it. In case you have tax refund for different years, better file separate RTIs for each. Do not mix them into one.
Tips while filing for Income Tax Refund
There are few well known mistakes people do while filing returns, because of which income tax refund delays happen. Lets see those points and make sure you dont do them.
1.Make sure your give permanent Address
A lot of salaried people who live on rent, give their present temporary addresses while claiming tax refund, and when after 1-2 years their tax refund cheque arrives, in many cases the person has moved out of the current location. This causes the cheque to return back and the person is not there on the given address. So make sure you always give the permanent address where you or your family lives and there is almost no chances of cheque returning back.
2. Give accurate Account Details, IFSC code
There has been cases where the account number given was inaccurate by 1-2 digits or the IFSC code was wrong, and that created the problem. This small thing can result in lot of frustration later, so double-triple check these details.
3. Try to do E-filing of your tax returns, if possible
As far as possible, try to file your income tax returns online and apply for tax refund, because the tax refund is much faster if e-filing was done. In case you are filing offline manually, make sure you fill form 30, contact your CA if you want to delegate this totally to someone else!
If you have been waiting for your tax refund from years, its the time to file a RTI application for it and find out why your income tax refund has been delayed for so long.