Want your income tax refund early? Follow these 10 steps while filing returns

Soon, it will be time for file your tax returns for the past financial year. If you have paid excess tax during the year through tax deducted at source (TDS) or your tax-saving investments have not been taken into account while computing TDS, you would be eligible for a refund.

Unfortunately, there are many taxpayers who have difficulty in getting their tax refunds after completing their returns formalities.

As you prepare yourself to file your returns, you need to do ensure that all details are filled in properly so as to help the tax authorities to process your refunds, if any, quickly.

Sudhir Kaushik, co-founder and CFO, Taxspanner.com, says that the primarily responsibility of an early tax refund lies with the taxpayer. “Taxpayer’s around the world have a happy day when their refund cheque or credit arrives. In India, refunds are being processed within. 2-3 months of filing returns or may be less. Those whose refunds are delayed are mostly responsible themselves because most of the reason are in their control,” Kaushik said.

We asked tax experts Sudhir Kaushik and Archit Gupta Founder & CEO, ClearTax to spell out the steps one needs to take to ensure one gets the refund in good time.

Kaushik listed out the following steps to avoid delays in refund:

Double-check the typo errors: If you spell your name wrong, reverse any digits in your PAN or use an incorrect home address, the income tax department cannot process return thus refund would be delayed.

Double-check the computation and claim of deductions: Tax returns include lots of deductions and computation. If you get one calculation wrong—like incorrectly adding, instead of subtracting, deductions than it is sure that your refund would be delayed. Better you, e-file your return and let trusted software do the calculations for you.

Ensure ITR-V Verification: Late or non-submission of ITR-V or e-verification by taxpayers due to relax attitude or lack of awareness about tax processes. In case ITR-V is already verified, but still there is delay, you can follow up with the Centralized Processing Center (CPC) of the Income-tax Department.

Choose the correct ITR form: The ITR forms are based on sources of income, losses and your status as a person. Incorrect ITR form would delay process because the necessary details for processing would be missing in the wrong ITR form.

Avoid last-minute tax returns filing: If you get the return in just before the tax deadline, you’re part of the grand swarm of last-minute filers. The sudden glut of tax returns can cause processing delays.

Non submission of statutory annexure:There are some specific annexure/forms to be filed along with ITR for claiming tax relief i.e. arrears relief u/s 89 in form 10 E rent deduction u/s 80GG in form 10 BA, audit report for F&O losses etc.

 Cleartax’s Archit Gupta advises the following measures:

Enter correct bank details: Ensure the bank account details have been entered correctly. Preferably give an Indian bank account;

Fill Form 16A details correctly: Ensure there is no mismatch in the TDS you claim and Form 16 or Form 16A as the case may be. Make sure to reconcile your income and TDS with Form 26AS too;

File within due date: File your returns within the prescribed time limit;

Super-Senior’s file electronic returns: If you are a super senior citizen with annual income of less than Rs 5 Lakh and you are filing your returns in hard copy, then consider filing your return electronically to pace up the refund procedure (though super senior citizens are under no obligation to file a return electronically)