When is a taxpayer eligible to receive a refund?

An income tax refund is due to a taxpayer if he has paid taxes higher when compared to his actual tax liability. There are various reasons which could lead to this kind of a scenario. Some of these have been enumerated below :
  • The employer generally deducts taxes after taking into consideration various documentary proofs provided to him by an employee pertaining to say 80C investments etc. However, there are instances where an employee is not able to furnish proof for few such investments before the end of a particular financial year and accordingly the employer goes ahead with a higher deduction. However, benefit of such investment can be claimed by the employee while filing his return of income and therefore claim a refund of the higher taxes paid;
  • Certain individuals may not fall within the taxable bracket at all i.e. their income would be less than Rs 2.5 lakhs. Hence, they would not have to pay any taxes. Yet, taxes would have got deducted on their income. This being so, they can claim a refund of the excess taxes deducted;
  • Taxpayers may be called upon to pay additional taxes by their income-tax officer following certain additions made to their income during income tax proceedings. Such additions may be deleted by appeal authorities. Accordingly, the taxpayer will be refunded the taxes he would have paid.

How much of refund is due to a taxpayer?

  • Refund claimed in the return of income

When a taxpayer claims a refund in his return of income, the tax department processes such return and the taxpayer would receive an intimation from CPC under Section 143(1) which will confirm the quantum of refund that the taxpayer is eligible to receive. The refund can either match with or it could be higher / lower than what is claimed in the return of income. This refund amount is what the taxpayer would ideally receive from the income tax department.  
  • Refund due after deletion of additions by appeal authorities

Once the additions are deleted by the appeal authorities, the income tax officer, by an order, determines the refund due to the taxpayer. This is what the taxpayer will be eligible to receive.

How to check for refund status?

Once the refund is determined, the same will be processed by the tax department. The status of refund can be checked either from :
  1. The income tax e-filing portal or
  2. The NSDL website

The income tax e-filing portal

Step 1: Visit the income tax e-filing portal by clicking here
Step 2: Log into your account by entering the user id, password, and the “captcha” and then click on “login”. Income Tax Login
Step 3: Click on “View Returns / Forms” ITR Refund
Step 4: Enter “Income Tax Returns” against “Select an option” and the relevant Assessment Year(AY) and click on “Submit”. To know more on what is Assessment Year. assessment year cleartax
Step 5: Click on the acknowledgement number Income Tax Refund Status Online
The income tax refund status appears as highlighted in the below screenshot Income Tax Refund Status Online

The NSDL Portal

Step 1: Click here which takes you to the NSDL website for checking of the refund status
Step 2: The below screen appears where you can feed in details of your PAN, the AY and the image appearing in the screen and then click on “Submit”. NSDL Portal Income Tax Refund Status Online
Once this is done, the below screen appears which shows the status of your refund in the following manner Income Tax Refund Status Online

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