New Delhi: Individual and small corporate taxpayers will get income or corporate tax refunds in four months, with the refund banker scheme spreading across the country soon.
The refunds, arising out of tax payments and TDS collections, usually take more than a year to reach the average taxpayer.
“Tax and TDS refunds will now reach the individual and small (corporate) taxpayers in about four months (by August 2009). The refund banker scheme may also be implemented across the country,” a senior finance ministry official said.
Taxpayers who have filed their returns for the assessment year 2008-09 should now write to their area Income-Tax Assessment Officers quoting their magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) codes (used in the banking industry to facilitate cheque processing) and vital bank account details.
This will help the department to send refunds quickly in any part of the country, the official added.
Officials in the income tax department also added fast and quick refunds have been made possible this time as the department has finished the process of “data migration” to its central servers from its offices across the country.
The department said while the taxpayer will get back his money back in “good time”, defaulters will be served tax demand notice in the same (four-month) period.
“Tax defaulters should beware because while the department has initiated the process of sending refunds, it has also fast tracked demand notices to be sent to defaulters,” the official said.
Currently the refund banker scheme is operational in six cities -- New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Patna -- with the country’s largest, public sector bank -- the State Bank of India (SBI) -- crediting the amount due to the bank accounts of taxpayers.
A finance ministry official, however, said refunds related to corporate taxpayers may take more time than those for individuals as more procedures are to be followed.