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There is good news for those taxpayers who are still waiting to get their income tax refund for FY 2020-21 (AY 2021-22). In an order dated March 1, 2024, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has said that these individuals can get their income tax refund by April 30, 2024.

Hence these individuals, who wish to check the status of their refund, should check their email inbox or keep a close watch for any intimation notice email from the income tax department. This intimation notice will have the details of the tax refund, if any, payable to them.

After an ITR is processed at the Centralised Processing Centre (CPC) within a specified period, the income-tax department would issue an intimation notice under section 143(1) of the Income-tax Act, 1961. If an individual has received an intimation notice for the same, it means that their filed ITR has been successfully processed. It is usually followed by the credit of refund amount, if any.

However, many taxpayers are waiting for the processing of their ITR for income related to FY 2020-21 (AY 2021-22). The delayed cases, which will now receive refund, are related to those taxpayers who filed the returns on time but did not receive the refund yet. “It has been brought to the notice that due to certain technical issues or for other reasons not attributable to the assesses concerned, several returns for assessment year (AY) 2021-22, which were otherwise filed validly, could not be processed under sub-section (1) of section 143 of the Act. Consequently, intimation regarding processing of such returns could not be sent within the timeframe prescribed under sub-section (1) of section 143 of the Act. This has led to a situation where the taxpayers are unable to get their legitimate refund in accordance with provisions of the Act, although the delay is not attributable to them,” said the income-tax department in an order dated March 1, 2024.Also read: Tax info mismatch? This new portal can help find & fix it.

Why the CPC could not process pending refund cases for AY 2021-22 after March 31, 2023

Till AY 2021-22 (March 31, 2022) the time limit for CPC to process an ITR was one year from the end of the financial year in which the ITR was filed.

For income earned during FY 2020-21 (AY 2021-22), the financial year of filing ITR was 2021-22 which ended on 31 March 2022. So, the last window for the income tax department to process this refund was one year from this date, which is March 31, 2023. Once the time limit gets over the CPC can neither process the said ITR or send the intimation notice under section 143 (1).

This was the reason why the income tax department was unable to process these pending refund cases after March 31, 2023.

Also read: How much income tax deduction is available on bank FD, RD and savings account interest.

Deadline to process ITRs for FY 2020-21 AY 2021-22 extended

Taking cognisance of the number of valid refund cases pending, the income tax department has extended the processing deadline to April 30, 2024.

“To mitigate genuine hardship being faced by the taxpayers on this issue, Board, by virtue of its powers under section 119 of the Act, hereby relaxes the time-frame prescribed in second proviso to sub-section (1) of section 143 and directs that all returns of income validly filed electronically for AY 2021-22 with refund claims, for which date of sending intimation under sub-section (1) of section 143 of the Act has lapsed, subject to the exceptions mentioned…, can be processed now with prior administrative approval of Pr.CCIT/CCIT concerned. The intimation of such processing under sub-section (1) of section 143 of the Act can be sent to the assessee concerned by 30.04.2024,” said the order from CBDT.

Once the ITR is processed taxpayers will start receiving intimation for the same.

“The intimation notice shows the computation of income as per the taxpayer as well as CPC. If the calculations tally, then only a tax refund is issued. In some cases, the intimation notice under section 143 (1) also shows details of outstanding old tax demand, which is proposed to be adjusted against the refund, if any,” says Mihir Tanna, associate director-direct tax, S.K Patodia LLP, a CA firm.

However, the extended deadline is not applicable for certain cases. In the order, income tax department has said:

The relaxation shall not be applicable to the following returns:
a) returns selected in scrutiny,
b) returns remaining unprocessed, where either demand is shown as payable in the return or is likely to arise after processing it,
c) returns remaining unprocessed for any reason attributable to the assessee.

  • Published On Mar 6, 2024 at 01:45 PM IST

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