Around 35 lakh cases for issuance of refunds are currently “held up” with the Income-Tax Department owing to mismatch and validation of the taxpayers’ bank accounts and the taxman is reaching out to such assessees via a special call centre, CBDT Chairperson Nitin Gupta said on Tuesday. The direct taxes body chief said the department was “in correspondence” with such taxpayers and it is their aim to expeditiously resolve these issues.
“We want to credit the refunds to the correct bank accounts of the taxpayers quickly,” he said.
Asked during an interaction about instances where refunds are stuck as taxpayers were getting old demands pertaining to years around 2010-11, Mr Gupta said the department had undergone a technology shift around 2011 — from paper-based registers to computers — and hence some of those old demands were showing up in the accounts of the assessees.
“We have started a unique demand management facilitation system about a year back for all such cases where refunds are held up due to a variety of reasons. An email is triggered to the taxpayer saying they will get a call three days from the dispatch of the email from a particular number and following this conversation, the issues are being resolved,” he told reporters here.
“We have resolved 1.4 lakh such entries over the last year following this Mysuru-based call centre interaction and the taxpayer can either accept the demand or contest it,” the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) head said.
Initially, this call centre was working for four of our ranges of Karnataka and Goa, Mumbai, Delhi and the north-west region but we plan to expand it further to other regions and cities, he said.
The CBDT is the administrative body for the I-T Department.
Apart from the record update at the end of the department or the assessing officer, there are two more reasons for refunds being held up, Mr Gupta said.
In some cases refunds are held up because the taxpayer has not validated their bank account, either the bank has merged or the assessee has changed cities and the IFSC has changed, he said.
“We urge the taxpayers to get their bank accounts validated. We have about 35 lakh cases where such mismatch has been detected and we are in touch with such taxpayers through official communication channels and the call centre as well,” he said.
According to official data for the assessment year 2023-24, a total of 7.27 crore ITRs were filed out of which 7.15 crore were verified by the taxpayers and the department has processed 6.80 crore ITRs out of these.
About 93.5 per cent of duly verified ITRs have been processed till now, the data said.
Talking about the ITR-U or income tax return-updated that was introduced by the Union government in Budget 2022-23, Mr Gupta said the department has collected 1,300 crore in additional tax after 16.8 lakh such returns were filed by taxpayers during the current financial year of 2023-24.
He was also asked about the new tax regime which the Union government brought out during the last Budget.
“We find that the corporates have filed about 60 per cent of their profits under the new tax regime during the last fiscal and we also hope that 60-70 per cent of individual taxpayers will shift to this new tax regime,” he said.
The new tax regime aims to end various deductions and claims and offer a flat and lesser tax rate to taxpayers.
Mr Gupta added that the direct taxes mop up was going well and “as of date”, the department has collected Rs 9.57 lakh crore in net revenue (under the personal income tax, corporate and other taxes head) after it issued Rs 1.50 lakh crore in refunds during the ongoing fiscal.
He said the department is confident that it will surpass the budget estimates made for direct tax collections at the end of this financial year in March 2024.
The 2023-24 budget has pegged the direct tax collection at a little over Rs 18.23 lakh crore, a 9.75 per cent higher than Rs 16.61 lakh crore mopped up last fiscal.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by String Reveals staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)