There is good news for those who have not got their income tax refund yet. The Income Tax Department has set April 30 as deadline for approving pending refunds.  

Meanwhile, more than 46,000 income tax returns have been filed in the first five days after the portal for Assessment Year 2024-25 opened on April 1. Of these, nearly 3,000 has already been processed.

Sources said the Department has prepared an interim action plan for the current fiscal and set a timeline for various actions related with taxpayers. “Approval of pending refunds has been placed under immediate action. Aim is to approve all pending refunds by April 30, 2024, which were withheld under section 241A and where scrutiny assessments have been completed and necessary orders have been passed,” an official told businessline.

Section 241A of Income Tax Act authorises Assessing Officer to withhold refund in case “such grant is likely to adversely affect the revenue.” Last month, the Department said refunds amount to over ₹3.36-lakh coroe issued in the FY24 till March 17 as compared to refunds of over ₹2.98-lakh crore issued in corresponding period of FY23. However, there are still complaints from taxpayers about pending refund of not just last fiscal but also of some earlier years.

“All pending refunds related with e-returns filed on Income Tax Business Application (ITBA) for all assessment years need to be approved by Jurisdictional Assessment Officers or Range Head by April 30,” said an official.

National faceless assessment centre

Another key deadline has been set for cases getting time barred on March 31, 2025. The concept of time barred can be found under section 148 of the Income Tax Act. This authorises tax official to send notice to a taxpayer whose income has not been properly assessed. In normal circumstances, notice can be issued within three years from the end of assessment years. However, this period can be extended to 10 years in case concealed income surpasses ₹50 lakh.

“June 30 is the deadline for disposal of penalties in at least half of the cases getting time barred next March,” he said.

TDS cases

According to an official, one month time has been given for disposal of all pending applications, as on April 1, 2024 for NIL or lower TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) / TCS (Tax Collected at Source). “All fresh applications will also be disposed within a month from the receipt,” he said.  It has also been decided to pass order by June 30 in cases where TDS survey conducted up to March 31, 2024.