Struggling with your income tax refund claim? This week might be a good time to sort it out. For, the Income Tax (I-T) department is observing the ongoing week as “grievance redressal week” and will be reaching out to tax-payers to solve pending complaints.
The department will be addressing issues related to refunds, rectifications (of tax demand), appeal effects (where an appellate authority has issued an order in taxpayers’ favour, but the same is yet to be implemented) and requests for permanent account number (PAN) migrations (to shift PAN from one city to other).
The week-long problem-solving initiative came about at the behest of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). The CVC directed the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) - the apex body of the I-T department – to turn its annual ‘vigilance awareness week’ into a ‘grievance redressal week’.
The directorate general of income tax (vigilance) has directed tax officials to make “wholehearted efforts” to redress pending grievances of taxpayers.
“Though we always try our best to not delay refunds and other tax-related issues, this week, such matters are being taken on priority,” said a senior I-T official, on condition of anonymity.
To ensure compliance, tax officials have been asked to send a consolidated report on achievements to the directorate general’s office. Figures for the Mumbai circle of I-T department show that huge numbers of refunds have already been issued this financial year from April 1 to October 1.
In Mumbai, the department issued 3.31 lakh refunds this year (from April 1 to October 1) as compared to 64,009 issued during the same period last year. The amount of refund issued this year is Rs10,778.9 crore. The number of refunds pending has also drastically fallen this year, as compared to last year, with a mere 1,300 claims pending as on October 1. Last year, on the same date, there were as many as 57,000 pending claims.