Many taxpayers have voiced concerns over the delay in receiving their income tax refunds for the assessment year 2023-24. The income tax department has now issued a notification saying that refunds would only be credited to the validated bank account.
In a notification on September 5, 2023, the income tax department asked taxpayers to verify the status of their bank accounts on the e-filing portal. This is because the previously validated bank account may require updation and re-validation due to change in bank account details.
The income tax department also posted a notification on social media platform X (previously known as Twitter). It said: “Kind Attention Taxpayers! Your refund can only be credited into a validated bank account. So, please check bank account validation status on e-filing portal.”
The income tax department further advised taxpayers to follow these steps on its official website.
1] Visit http://incometax.gov.in.
2] Log in to your account.
3] Navigate to the “Profile” section.
4] Select “My Bank Account”.
5] Click on “Revalidate/Add Bank Account”.
The status of the validation request will be sent to the mobile number and email address registered with the e-filing portal.
“Previously validated bank accounts may require updates and revalidation, due to changes in bank account details, such as the IFSC code,” the income tax department said.
For taxpayers to successfully pre-validate their bank accounts, they must have a valid Permanent Account Number (PAN) registered with the e-filing portal along with an active bank account linked to their PAN. This validated bank account can also be used to enable the electronic verification code (EVC) for e-verification purposes. In addition, taxpayers also have the flexibility to pre-validate multiple bank accounts and nominate more than one bank account for receiving their income tax refunds.
Several taxpayers, frustrated with the delay in refunds, commented on the social media post, leading to an exchange with income tax department.
In one such exchange, a user mentioned that in spite of changing their bank account after being told that his bank account is not listed for refund, he is still facing delays in receiving their refund. The department promptly responded, instructing the user to contact them via email at
email@example.com, providing details, including PAN and mobile number, “so that our team can get in touch with you”.
Many taxpayers have also reported delays in the processing of their income tax returns. Some mentioned that despite filing their returns in June, the processing has not been completed. Others complained that their returns were processed in July and they are still awaiting for the refunds.
Also, it’s important to note that the income tax department processes several hundred thousand returns on a daily basis, and the refund process may take some time.
Notably, a recent SBI research report, dated August 16, 2023, said that more tax returns are being processed promptly by the income tax department now. In AY 2022, only around half were processed on time, but now, in AY 24, 64 per cent of filed returns have been processed by the due date. Also, returns processed (43 million) as percentage of verified returns (60 million) is also at a high level of 72 per cent in AY24, the report says.
While delays in income tax refunds have raised concerns among taxpayers, the income tax department’s announcement regarding the importance of validated bank accounts serves as a critical reminder. Taxpayers should follow the necessary steps to ensure their bank accounts are validated to facilitate the timely receipt of their income tax refunds. Additionally, the income tax department’s efforts to streamline the processing of returns reflect the positive developments in the tax landscape, thus providing reassurance to taxpayers.