Most of us do not have any idea about our income tax refund status. We don’t know how long will it take to get our tax return. This is a major problem in our society and we need to acknowledge it. Millions of tax payers across the country file for income tax return but do not keep track or do not know at all as to what is happening with their cases once they hand over the documents.

Generally, an income tax refund is cleared in a few months time period. But tax payers do not know this. And, therefore, they wait for as long as 3-4 years before they actually get their refund. Sounds shocking, doesn’t it? In the article, I’ll discuss and show you how you can keep a track of your income tax refund case online. Also, how to use an RTI application to know the status and also speeding up the process of getting back your income tax refund.

Steps To Check Income Tax Refund Status Online

In case you have filed an income tax return asking for the tax refund and have no idea about the current status of your refund process, then you can track it online. You just need to know your PAN number and the assessment year for which you have applied for a refund. Just follow these steps:

  • Visit the NSDL website.
  • Fill in your PAN number.
  • Then select the Assessment Year for which you want the refund.
  • Click on “Submit”.

 Check Income Tax Refund Status Online

You can also contact the help desk of SBI at 080-26599760 or the Aaykar Sampark Kendra at 0124 2438000 to check the income tax refund status.

File an RTI application to know your income tax refund status

When you are not getting any response or clarity on the status of your refund online or from the helpdesk, you have the option of filing an RTI against the Income Tax department. But remember that you must wait at least a year after applying for the refund before you file the RTI again the IT department.

The RTI application that you are filing should be addressed to CPIO (Central Public Information Officer) officer. Now, you will have trouble finding the details of CPIO as it is not organized neatly. Therefore, you need to first go to the Income Tax department website and then select your state. I choose “Maharashtra” and then it redirected me to a page which had the map of Maharashtra. Above this map was many tabs including “CPIO/Appellate Authority”, click on this. Then in my case, it took me to the following page. You can see the images below.

Here you will find the complete information of the CPIO which you can then use to file your RTI application to know your income tax refund status.

(put screenshots from the above links)

Download this RTI template for income tax refund (load this template and edit it in our name and link)

What do you need to ask while filing RTI application

  1. You should ask for the details of the officer (like his name, designation, contact number, and his address) who is supposed to process your claim for income tax refund.
  2. You should also ask for how long this refund has been pending with the officer and what is the reason for so much delay.
  3. You must ask that if any senior authority has instructed for this delay and for the certified copies of it if there are any.
  4. In addition, ask for all the details of the higher officer (like name, contact number, and address) with whom you will be able to file your first appeal.

In many cases, there aren’t any valid reasons for the delay. Therefore, if you ask these 4 questions, then it will get the officers into action and they will have to speed up the process. These kinds of delays are mainly created in the expectation of a bribe.

The important thing to note here is that only the concerned person is eligible to file an RTI. No one else can file it on his/her behalf.  If you have to file an RTI for tax refunds for different years, then please file a separate RTI for each one of them.

Important Points to address while filing for your Income Tax Refund

People make some very silly mistakes while filing their tax returns, because of which these delays happen. I’ve addressed some of them below.

1] Always give your permanent address

People who live on rent tend to give their present address, which is temporary when they claim for tax refund. When their tax refund cheque arrives after a year or so, the person may have moved out of that location. Due to this, the cheque is returned. So, do not make such mistakes. Always fill in your permanent address, which will ensure that you get the cheque rightly delivered.

2] Always fill your Account Details accurately

Details like Account Number, IFSC code, CIF etc are long and tedious digits to remember. Therefore, there are many cases where people filled in 1 or 2 digits incorrectly. This creates a huge problem. Therefore, always double check the account verification before submitting your IT return form.

3] It is better to do E-filing of your IT returns

The tax refund process is done much faster when e-filing is done. Therefore, you should file your IT returns online. However, if you want to fill it offline, then fill Form 30 and take advice from your CA if you have any problems.

Final Thoughts

IT returns don’t take a year to refund your amount if the application was filled correctly. But in case if you don’t get a refund over a year after submitting the form, then please file an RTI application for the same. Find out the reason for the delay and keep yourself updated on its current progress.

If you have any queries or suggestions, please leave a comment below.

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