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Tax data gaps hit refunds

Major mismatches have shown up on income tax returns data between certificates issued to assessees and those maintained at the National Securities Depository Ltd, according to government sources.

business Updated: Feb 19, 2010 23:04 IST
Vivek Sinha & Sandeep Singh

Major mismatches have shown up on income tax returns data between certificates issued to assessees and those maintained at the National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL ), according to government sources.

NSDL is the central agency that keeps data on advance tax filed by companies. The returns data available with the NSDL is substantially less than that actually filed by a company. Further, as a company can claim refund only on the basis of data available with the NSDL, it usually delays the refund process.

When a company approaches an assessing officer (AO) to claim a refund of excess advance tax paid, the officer is unable to process the claim because he cannot match advance tax data reflected by the NSDL site with those claimed by the company. And the onus is on assessee to rectify the discrepancy.

Finance ministry officials say they are aware of the problem and that the issue would take some time to get addressed. “We are moving towards complete e-filing of returns and are aware of the glitches in the system. Steps are being taken to rectify them,” a senior official in the ministry said. He, however, did not give any time-frame to resolve the issue.

NSDL said the fault could lie with the banks that collect the tax payments. “In online payment of advance tax, the tax payer fills his non-financial details at the NSDL site after which he is routed to a bank’s website for the payment of tax. What gets reflected in terms of the tax paid is what the bank uploads at NSDL,” said an official at NSDL.

TCS, the software vendor, and IBM that provides computers and hardware refused to comment on the issue.