If you have filed an income tax return (ITR) for the 2020-21 (AY) assessment year but have not received a refund so far, you are not alone. Technical upgrades to process ITRs faster can be a reason for the delay.
Many taxpayers, even those who filed their tax returns in June or July, expressed their concerns about refunds on Twitter.
Putting the onus on the technical issues, the I-T department tweeted: As part of our commitment to provide improved taxpayer services, we are migrating to a new technology upgrade platform (CPC 2.0) to process ITR faster.
The ITRs for 2020-21 AY will be processed on CPC 2.0. We thank you for your patience during the migration to the new system.
The tweet did not mention any timeline for when to migrate to CPC 2.0 and begin processing I-T returns for AY20-21.
So far, all income tax returns submitted to the department are processed in the CPC or centralized processing center of the I-T department in Bangalore.
Under the CPC 2.0 project, the tax department is expanding its capabilities and upgrading technology to provide taxpayers with better services by pre-filling forms and reducing refund time.
Some chartered accountants interviewed also confirmed that most of their clients have not yet received FY19-20 or AY20-21 refunds.
Yes, many of my clients who filed their income tax returns for the fiscal year 2019-20 3-4 months ago have not received a refund”, a chartered accountant, Swar Pathak said.
Sudhir Kaushik, CEO of the income tax return platform Taxspanner.com, confirmed that the issuance of refunds for the 2019-20 fiscal year seems to be delayed.
He added: ‘Even customers who filed their income tax returns in June-July month this year have not yet received their refunds. Usually, tax refunds are issued within 2-4 months‘.
The I-T department stated in a recent tweet that it has so far distributed Rs 1,36,066 crore to more than 40.15 billion taxpayers between April 1, 2020, and November 17, 2020.
This includes personal income tax refunds. Rs 35,750 crore was issued in more than 38,23,294 cases, and corporate tax refunds of over Rs 1,00,300 crore was issued in 1,95,518 cases.
Many taxpayers responded to the tweet and complained about not receiving their refunds.
Where is mine? I filed my taxes 2 months back!!— Hari (@haricoooool) November 11, 2020
Some experts believe that the delay may be due to disruptions caused by a coronavirus, which has strained finances and the exchequer.
Normally, refunds are automatic proceed. If there are no major deficiencies, they will be refunded within 3-4 months after filing the income tax return.
However, this year we learned that due to the coronavirus crisis with additional spending, the government has experienced a liquidity crunch, and collections have also been subdued. This may be the cause of the delay.
Vivek Jalan, a partner of the Tax Connect Advisory Services, a tax advisory firm in Kolkata, said that now, as economic activity grows and the collection of goods and services tax has become stronger, CBDT should plan to process refunds of less than 100,000 rupees.
Some experts also believe that the tax administration should bring more transparency by providing a timetable for repayment.
In order to increase transparency, CBDT should process returns in chronological order and disclose the details of the date when income tax returns are filed and refunds are processed and issued accordingly.
The dashboard on its website showing the date of issue of the refund, the date of return and the number of confirmed returns, and the number of returns filed and pending for precessing will help taxpayers and increase transparency, a former president of the ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India), Ved Jain said.