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What Can I Do If ITR Refund is Delayed?

What Can I Do If My Income Tax Refund Is Delayed?
November 16, 2023


In this policy, the investment risk in the investment portfolio is borne by the policyholder. 

Every taxpayer carefully plans their investments and savings to try and maximise their tax savings each year. Most people choose to purchase investment products like Unit-Linked Insurance Plans to enjoy tax savings of up to INR 1,50,000 per year.

When you file your Income Tax Returns (ITR) every year, you may find out that you have paid extra tax during the year. If this is the case, you should receive an income tax refund. But, receiving the refund can take some time. You can use the income tax portal to track your income tax refund status online. If it is delayed for too long, you can try a few different things to expedite the process.

Steps to follow If you Haven’t Received the Income Tax Refund Amount?

If you have not received your refund yet, you can:

1. Log in to the e-filing portal using your user ID, password and date of birth.

2. Select the View e-Filed Returns/Forms option from the drop-down menu and then click Submit.

3. Select the acknowledgement number for the year for which the refund is awaited. Remember, the assessment year and financial year are two different things. While checking  for a refund status for the financial year 2021-2022, you must click on the assessment year 2022-2023.

4. The portal will show you the refund status. They will also let you know if the refund payment has failed and why.

What Are the Possible Income Tax Refund Status Updates

Your refund status could be any of the following:

  • Refund paid
  • Not determined
  • No e-Filing completed for this assessment year
  • Refund unpaid
  • Demand determined
  • Contact Jurisdictional Assessing Officer

Reasons If Your Income Tax Refund Has Not Reached You

Depending on why your refund has not yet been processed, you may have to take a different course of action.

Reason: IT Department Requires Additional Information

Action: Contact your assessing officer via telephone or post. Submit the additional documents required. But, make sure you receive an acknowledgement from the officer that he or she received the file.

Reason: Refund Request Rejected Due to Taxes Owed

Action: Sometimes, there may be a calculation error. If you receive a notice from the Income Tax department with an outstanding tax amount, you need to act quickly. Double-check your documents and calculate your tax liability once more. If the figures you disclosed  in your ITR are correct, you must file a rectification return . If you do have an outstanding tax amount, ensure you pay it within the time limit mentioned in the notice.

Reason: Refund Request Found to Be Incorrect

Action: The Income Tax department may send you a notice saying that they believe your ITR calculations are incorrect. They will provide details supporting their claim. Once you receive the notice, you can opt to file a rectification return.

Reason: Forgot the Add a Valid Deduction

Action: Sometimes, you may notice an error after you submit your documents. If the Income Tax department has not processed your return yet, you can revise your returns.

Reason: Bank Account Details Have Changed

Action: People may opt to move from one bank to another or may close one account and open another. If your bank details have changed since you filed your income tax returns, you will have to raise a ‘refund re-issue’ request.The following steps to be followed to raise Refund Re-issue Request:

1. login to e-filing portal using your user id, password and date of birth

2. click on 'my account' menu and click 'service request' link.

3. select the 'request type' as 'new request' and select the 'request category' as 'refund reissue'. click 'submit'.

4. details such as pan, return type, assessment year (a.y), acknowledgement no, communication reference number, reason for refund failure and response are displayed.

5. select the bank account to which the tax refund is to be credited and click 'continue'

Note:  if there are no pre validated bank accounts, then you are directed to pre validate bank account screen. In this screen you should enter all relevant details of the bank account where you intend to receive refund and click on 'pre validate' button to proceed with the request submission. After this account is pre-validated by the concerned bank, the bank account will be automatically considered for refund re-issue. this account will now be displayed under pre-validated bank accounts in the e-filing portal.

6. e-verify using an Electronic Verification Code (EVC) or Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) to complete the process.

Reason: Delay at the Bank or with Processing

Action: Sometimes, the Income Tax department may take a little time to process your return. To ensure the fault does not lie with you, double-check that you have sent your ITR-V within 120 days of completing the e-filing process. If you have not done this yet, you must revise your returns and send a new acknowledgement to the CPC.

Reason: Filed the Forms Physically

Action: When you opt to file your income tax returns physically instead of online, your income tax refund may get delayed. Give the department time to process your physical paperwork before taking any further action.

Frequently Asked Questions About Income Tax Refund Status

Q: Why is my income tax refund delayed?

A: Your income tax refund may get delayed due to a number of reasons. You can check the status of the refund on the income tax e-filing portal to understand more.

Q: When will I receive my income tax refund?

A: Typically, the refund gets issued within 45 days after the Income Tax department processes the return.

Q: My refund went to my old account. Can I still receive it?

A: Yes. Start by ensuring that you update all your personal and bank details on the income tax portal as soon as possible. Next, you can raise a new service request on the portal. Select the refund reissue option and pre validate bank account details

Q: My income tax refund has not been processed. Can I escalate the issue?

A: Although you filed your ITR on time, you may not receive your refund immediately. The first issue might be that your ITR has not been verified yet. Ensure you sent the ITR-V within 120 days of completing the e-filing process. If your ITR is verified, you can follow up with the CPC by calling their helpline number 1800 103 4455. The helpline number should be manned from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Unit Linked Insurance products do not offer any liquidity during the first five years of the contract. The policyholders will not be able to surrender or withdraw the monies invested in Unit Linked Insurance Products completely or partially till the end of fifth year.

Q. What happens if an income tax refund is above Rs. 50,000?

A. The Income Tax Department can conduct additional scrutiny if your tax refund amount is above Rs. 50,000, to ensure the genuineness of the claim and prevent fraudulent practices. The department can conduct this by issuing a notice to the assessee or through a verification process. In such a case, the assessee is required to respond promptly and furnish the required documents or provide explanations as requested.

Q. Who can claim a TDS refund?

A. An individual can claim a TDS refund if the amount deducted in the form of TDS is more than the actual tax payable in a particular financial year. These TDS deductions can be from various types of income sources such as salary, bank account interests, rental income etc.

Q. What information should I have ready when contacting the income tax department?

A. Before contacting the Income Tax Department, you should keep some necessary documents handy such as your PAN card, and assessment number. Be prepared with the query which you are going to ask or explain and any relevant document supporting your query.

Q. Should I consult a tax professional for assistance with a delayed refund?

A. There can be various reasons behind an ITR refund delay such as rejection of refund request, incorrect account number, assessee name mismatch with bank account name, etc.  If there’s a delay in an income tax refund, it is advisable to reach out to the Income Tax Department through their toll-free helpline number or by filling a complaint to the department's grievance cell. 

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ARN: ED/09/22/29480

Francis Rodrigues Francis Rodrigues

Francis Rodrigues has a decade long experience in the insurance sector, and as SVP, E-Commerce and Digital Marketing, HDFC Life, manages the online sales channel, as well as digital and performance marketing. He has had hands-on experience in setting up sales channels and functional teams from scratch over a career spanning 2 decades.

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Vishal Subharwal Vishal Subharwal

Vishal Subharwal heads the Strategy, Marketing, E-Commerce, Digital Business & Sustainability initiatives at HDFC Life. He is responsible for crafting and ensuring successful implementation of the overall organisation strategy.

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We at HDFC Life are committed to offer innovative products and services that enable individuals live a ‘Life of Pride’. For over two decades we have been providing life insurance plans - protection, pension, savings, investment, annuity and health.

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The customer is requested to seek tax advice from his Chartered Accountant or personal tax advisor with respect to his personal tax liabilities under the Income-tax law

Unit Linked Insurance products are different from the traditional insurance products and are subject to the risk factors. The premium paid in Unit Linked Life Insurance policies are subject to investment risks associated with capital markets and the NAVs of the units may go up or down based on the performance of fund and factors influencing the capital market and the insured is responsible for his/her decisions. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited is only the name of the Insurance Company, HDFC Life is only the name of the brand. The name of the company, name of the brand and name of the contract does not in any way indicate the quality of the contract, its future prospects or returns. Please know the associated risks and the applicable charges, from your insurance agent or the intermediary or policy document of the insurer. The various funds offered under this contract are the names of the funds and do not in any way indicate the quality of these plans, their future prospects and returns.