NEW DELHI :
From this assessment year, the income tax department has brought in a new rule without which you will not be able to get any tax refunds. So far the requirement was only to link your PAN (Permanent Account Number) with Aadhaar card to file income tax returns (ITR).
But now the I-T department has started issuing income tax refunds only through e-mode. The new rule means that the earlier practice of sending tax refund cheques through Speed Post has been done away with. This is also beneficial for ITR filers as sometimes these cheques used to get delayed.
Although the I-T department had been sending e-refunds for the last few years, it is only in the last few months that the practice of issuing cheques has stopped completely.
However, the taxman will credit refund directly to your bank account only under one condition - the bank account should be linked with your PAN. If the linkage is complete, the income tax department has promised to issue tax refund directly into your bank account in a swift and secure manner.
The bank account for getting tax refund can be a savings, current, cash or even an OD account but the PAN linkage is mandatory.
Linking your bank account with PAN is not a complicated process. Just ensure that you have shared a copy of your PAN card with your bank branch. If they have PAN in their records, the two should get linked automatically. In case the linkage doesn't happen, the I-T department has asked taxpayers to contact the bank.
The taxman has also provided a facility to check if the PAN-bank account linkage is done. You can go to the income tax department's e-filing portal, click on the profile setting section and then go to "Prevalidate Your Bank Account" where you can check whether any of your bank accounts are already validated or not.
If the validation is not done, you can add a new bank account. The "Status" column will tell you whether your bank account is validated or not.
To prevalidate your bank account, you need to give your bank account number, IFSC code, bank name and mobile number that is linked to the account.
The e-filing portal also gives you the option of choosing which bank account you want the tax refund to get credited.