Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, Dec 6: The government has directed the income tax department to quickly settle refund claims involving amounts less than Rs 50,000, official sources said. A senior finance ministry official told reporters here that instructions were issued earlier this week following a review meeting with the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) officials, as part of the ministry’s drive to ensure a taxpayer friendly system.
“Only those cases which are chosen for scrutiny are not included under this drive. A number of refunds have an amount of less than Rs 50,000 and it has been instructed that such cases shall be issued refunds promptly and those exceeding this amount should also be issued as soon as verification has been done,” the official said. “The total amount involved is Rs 5,496 crore and a large number of refunds are for less than Rs 50,000, and constitute about 70-80 percent of pending refunds for the two assessment years,” he added. According to the CBDT order, as on November 1, pending refunds have to be made on 207,000 Income Tax returns involving Rs 659 crore for Assessment Year 2013-14 and another set of 1.29 million returns involving Rs 4,837 crore for 2014-15.
Meanwhile, Central Board of Direct Taxes has notified use of emails as the new mode of communication between the taxman and taxpayers, as part of the government’s e-initiative to reduce human interface and complaints of harassment and corruption in conducting tax related jobs. The amendment in the Income Tax Act was also required as the I-T department has recently launched a ‘pilot project’ of sending email queries, notices and summons to taxpayers while processing cases of scrutiny.