Millennium Post

Central I-T data base hub has 16 lakh unclaimed refunds

Official sources said the Central Processing Centre (CPC), which receives and processes country-wide returns filed by taxpayers electronically, has not been able to entrust these refunds to their rightful owners for “want of correct data from taxpayers.” “Usually the department is blamed for not sending refunds to taxpayers on time but the fact is that the CPC has about 16 lakh refunds lying unclaimed,” a senior I-T officer said here.

The officer said the CPC, through its field offices and other communication channels, is trying to gather correct details of the legitimate recipients of these refunds which are estimated to hold “lakhs of rupees, if not crores.” “The amount locked in these refunds could be an estimated over Rs 2,000 crore. The period of these pending refunds pertain to at least the last 2-3 assessment years,” the officer said. The CPC, which has processed close to 3 crore e-returns till now in this financial year, says it has uploaded the facility of rectifying these refunds on its official web portal so that these can be sent to their rightful owners.

“One needs to log in at the official and click on the ‘my account’ link and then punch in the necessary details. The department is trying to ensure that once this rectification is done, the refunds are dispatched as soon as possible,” the officer said.

Another senior officer at the state-of-the-art facility said the CPC would want that the taxpayers who file online returns should exercise “user discipline” and fill all columns in the Income Tax Return (ITR) forms completely and correctly. “The CPC is hopeful to clear these pending refunds as soon as possible,” the officer said. The CPC has also taken up a project to digitise the paper-based I-T returns as the department desires to move to a stage where each and every return is e-filed in the country. Under present rules, e-filing of I-T returns is mandatory for those taxpayers whose annual income is Rs 5 lakh or more.

However, people below this income bracket can also file e-returns. The CPC, as part of its new measures aimed to provide better services to the taxpayers, is also planning to upgrade its call centre based within this campus here to a 24X7 basis as compared to the limited time of working as of now and also introduce an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) in at least three languages of English, Hindi and Kannada as compared to the manual talking with customer care executives as of now.
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