Many people are ignorant about the fact that their tax refund status can be easily ascertained online with a few simple and easy steps by entering the PAN number. The 'Refund Banker Scheme', which was first introduced by the Income Tax Department in Jan 2007, can be used by tax payers all over the nation to view the exact status of their refunds on line at the site https://tin.tin.nsdl.com/oltas/refundstatuslogin.html . This is as easy as it gets and all one needs to do is to enter the PAN number and the assessment year on this site to access the current position of the tax refund.
Modes of refund:
Tax refunds whenever applicable is made in 2 different means to all the tax payers:
Checking status online:
- RTGS / NECS: In order to enable direct credit of the refund amount to the bank account of the tax payer, the taxpayer’s correct bank A/c (at least 10 digits), MICR/ IFSC code of the bank branch and required communication address is mandatory.
- Paper Cheque: The standard paper cheques wherever issued require the current bank account no and the correct address of the tax payer as mandatory information.
This simple task can be achieved through a few easy steps:
(It must be noted that the online refund is faster and quicker if the return has been filed on time and preferably through online filing system.)
Income tax refund: Types of status online
While checking your refund status online you are likely to see several kinds of status messages on the website. Demonstrated below are some of the common types of status messages that may appear at the website. Other status messages depending on the actual state of processing and disparities noticed by the department may also appear. The assessee has the right to appeal and notify the department in case of any discrepancies noticed at the status on the website for further action.
Some important facts about refund status:
- Change of Address: Incase the address of the assessee has changed and same has not been notified to the Income Tax Department through the online registration system, the refund cheque normally returns back and this is reflected in the status at the website. Such cases of cheques are quite common despite the fact that the refund cheques are dispatched on time by the department. Here is what will appear at the site in an eventuality.
- Cheque Encashed Status: If the assessee has received the refund cheque and has encashed it then the status at the website will reflect the same. However in case the cheque has actually not been encashed but is being reflected as so at the website then one needs to immediately inform the department and take steps to retrieve the money at the earliest. Here is what will appear at the website if the cheque has been encashed.
There are a few essential facts that one needs to understand while checking tax refund status online:
- The Income tax Department has nominated the State bank of India (SBI) as the refund manger agency for all such transactions. Thus it is the SBI that forwards all the refund cheques or online transfers.
- RTGS/ NECS/ ECS transfers are possible only if the 10 digit account number has been correctly provided by the assessee along with the IFSC code of the bank. Otherwise standard cheques or demand drafts will be dispatched to the address provided by the assessee.
- The online status is updated for viewing only after a period of 10 days of the assessing officer having made the refund either online or by dispatching the cheque.
- The refund status will be available only if the tax return has been filed correctly and on time and has been received by the department. This is possible only if the assessee has received an acknowledgement form from the department of having received the ITR.
Using the online facilities of the Income tax Department is a great relief both in terms of filing the returns and checking the status of refunds. The processing time is considerably less in case of the online system as compared to the traditional paper form filing.
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