We are almost at the end of the Financial year 2022-23 and you must be busy doing last-minute tax saving activities. But have you paid attention if your ITR for the last financial year (2021-22) has been processed? This will especially be valid if you are someone who has filed a Belated return for the last financial year.
However, what if you duly filed your tax returns but the same were not processed by the Income Tax Department in time? This will not only delay the issue of refunds but you will be eligible to get interest on the same. So how do you complain against the Income-tax authorities who are quick to penalize taxpayers on their defaults but delay their end on the processing of the returns?
Given below is a brief discussion on how and where to raise any grievances or complaints relating to the late processing of tax returns and the remedies available to the taxpayers.
What are the steps after filing the ITR?
Before we proceed, let us understand the system of income tax returns right from their filing to their completion.
The first step is filing the relevant tax returns by taxpayers. Following this, taxpayers also have to verify their tax returns within 30 days of filing them. The Income Tax Department will then start the next step of processing the returns. Assessees are then sent out intimations under section 143(1). This intimation order is essentially acceptance by the department of the details that the taxpayers have provided. Once the intimation order is sent, the processing of the ITR begins.
The department typically takes about a month to process the returns which involves going through the details submitted and verifying the same with Form 26AS and other avenues. After completing the processing of the returns, the department will either raise the demand for further taxes as per their records or accept the refund request as raised by the taxpayer. The further demand for taxes is to be paid at the earliest, on the other hand, in case of a refund, the same is issued within 60 days of the notice.
Also Read: Important points to keep in mind while filing your IT return
What can taxpayers do if ITR is not processed?
There may also be cases when the assessees have completed the process of filing the returns from their end, filing them within the due dates and e-verifying them within the specified timelines. The delay may be from the department’s end in processing the returns. Taxpayers in such cases have the remedy of filing their grievances on the e-filing portal. This remedy is available only if the taxpayers have duly filed their returns and verifying the same is also completed within 30 days of submitting the returns. When such grievances are resolved and the taxpayers are entitled to their refund, they are also eligible to get an interest on the same for the delayed period.
What are the steps for grievance redressal in this case?
The revised portal of e-filing has a dedicated channel for raising any grievances and tracking the same till they are resolved. The steps taxpayers must follow to register their grievances relating to the delayed processing of their income tax returns are highlighted below.
- The first step is to login into the income tax portal using valid credentials.
- After logging in, users have to click on ‘Submit Grievance’ from the tab ‘Grievance’
- The next step is selecting the relevant department for which the grievance must be submitted. In this case, the grievance is related to the delayed processing of the ITR. Taxpayers have to therefore select the option CPC-ITR, followed by selecting the option ‘Processing under the tab ‘Category’ and ‘Processing Related’ under the sub-category tab.
- The users will also have to provide additional details like the assessment year for which the processing is delayed and the PAN number against which the ITR is filed.
- Apart from the above details, users can also need to provide a brief description of their grievances in a minimum of 100 characters and a maximum of 3000 characters. Users can also upload any relevant documents to support their grievances.
- After submitting their grievance, the taxpayers will be issued a grievance ID number that can be used to track the progress of such complaints.
The department usually responds to any grievances raised within 10 days of submitting the same.
Users can track the progress of the grievances through the following steps.
- Login to the e-filing portal using valid credentials
- The progress of the grievances will be displayed under the tab ‘Grievance’ and selecting ‘View Grievance’.
- The record of the pending grievances will be displayed on their screen.
The process of filing an ITR and processing the same is a routine process that has been streamlined with the latest provisions and e-filing portal for the benefit of the taxpayers and the department alike. These measures ensure that there are limited issues with the entire process and that the remedies available to the aggrieved parties are also resolved at the earliest.
The department usually takes a month to process the ITR after it is duly filed and verified by the assessees.
Yes, assessees can track the progress of the grievances filed by them through the grievance id number allotted at the time of successful submission of the same
The possible reasons for the delay in the processing of the ITR can be a delay in submitting the returns, delay in verifying them after filing them, delay in reconciliation io the data as submitted by the taxpayer and as found in the IT records, delay due to the bank account not being validated, delay due to any unprecedented event that may result in halting the ITR processing, etc.
The IT Department sends an intimation notice under section 143(1) which essentially confirms the data provided by the assessee. If there are any discrepancy in the records as per the department and as per the assessee, the same would be highlighted in the intimation notice as well.