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I-T dept has internal target to issue refunds in seven days: CBDT chief

income tax refund period

The Income Tax (I-T) department has been given an internal target of issuing refunds within a period of seven days.

This came up during the process of drafting the budget. Meeting such a short deadline is a challenge in itself.

However, the department has also been able to reduce the average time taken for issuing refunds in the financial year 2022- 23 to 16 days as against 26 in the fiscal before.

The country has also achieved the highest-ever direct tax collection of RS 16.61 lakh crore.

This was revealed by the chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Nitin Gupta who expressed that the time can be further shortened.

The CBDT is the apex body governing the department. He was addressing the passing out ceremony of the 75th batch of Indian Revenue Service (IRS) joining the department after their training at the National Academy of Direct Tax (NADT) in Nagpur.

Gupta said the amount of refunds issued during the financial year 2022-23 has been higher by Rs 18,000 crore as compared to its previous fiscal. In the year as much as 42 per cent of the returns were processed within 24 hours and even the refunds were issued at the same pace.

The Indian tax administration has surpassed even that of the advanced countries when it comes to aspects like electronic filing, said Gupta.

He said as much as 7.5 crore returns were filed through the e-filing two portals and 72 lakh returns were filed on a single day July 31 which was the last date of filing.

The department has also changed the way in which it communicates with the taxpayers having its own Twitter handle and a quick response team to grievances. This has led to higher collections and even the cost of collection has gone down, said Gupta.

Gupta also said that the department is watchful of the tax evaders and has been able to create credible deterrence through using technology. This has helped in flagging off errors or discrepancies in declarations or the accounts by the assesses which has helped in detecting evasion of tax.

The deterrence is achieved through the data which the department has leading to a non-intrusive manner of checking tax evasion. The taxpayer is shown all the financial transactions taken by him through the annual information system. This nudges the assess to pay the proper dues, he said.

In 2022-23 a system of updated returns by paying additional tax ranging from 25 per cent to 50 per cent extra tax for a period of two years.

This has led to a reduction in litigation. There are times when certain details are genuinely missed in the returns without these can be included in the updated returns, he later told TOI.

In the last fiscal as much as 20 lakh such returns were filed getting a collection of Rs 1500 crore, he said.


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