Your struggle to get I-T refunds ends here | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Your struggle to get I-T refunds ends here

Hirji Veera was running from pillar to post to get his income tax (I-T) refunds for the years 1984-85, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1998-99, 2003-04 and 2004-05.

mumbai Updated: Mar 28, 2011 01:21 IST
Manish Pachouly

Hirji Veera was running from pillar to post to get his income tax (I-T) refunds for the years 1984-85, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1998-99, 2003-04 and 2004-05. He approached the I-T ombudsman in May last year and within few months got a refund of Rs42,000 for all these years.

VR Kulkarni struggled to get refunds for 1993-94, 1994-95, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2006-07 and 2008-09. He approached the ombudsman in January last year and got his refund of Rs58,766.

Many others who were went through a similar struggle collectively got refunds worth Rs13.8 crore in 2010-2011 (till February end) after they approached the I-T ombudsman.

The I-T ombudsman is appointed by the Centre to look into various grievances related to I-T and settlement of claims. In Mumbai, the post of I-T ombudsman was created in 2007.

The current ombudsman, AK Handa said that in the current fiscal year (2010-11), 603 taxpayers approached him with various cases, out of which 495 were about refunds. Among the refund cases, 375 had claims of up to Rs one lakh while the rest were above that. The ombudsman also helped three companies to get their refunds of more than Rs one crore each.

Handa said most taxpayers belong to the service class and do not take services of chartered accountants. “Taxpayers who handle cases on their own approach the ombudsman,” said Handa. He added that out of 603 cases this fiscal year, 598 have been solved. Besides refunds, the ombudsman also helps those people, whose cash and assets seized during income tax searches were not released despite finalising the cases.

Handa said most of the grievances were solved through mediation with the concerned I-T officials. He can also report his findings to the secretary, Department of Revenue and chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes when the I-T authority does not follow his directions.