I-T Dept urges taxpayers with previous arrears to have them adjusted in refund claims

New Delhi, Sep 24: The Income Tax (I-T) Department is providing an opportunity to taxpayers who have previous outstanding demands of payments against them, to have these reconciled so that refunds in their cases, if any, can be issued.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the I-T Department said it “is making every effort to complete the processing of Income Tax Returns (ITRs) and issuance of refunds expeditiously”.

However, there are a few cases in which refunds are due to the taxpayer, but previous demands are outstanding.

“Taxpayers are requested to avail this opportunity and respond to such intimations to enable cleaning up/reconciliation of pending demands and facilitate timely issue of refunds,” the statement read.

Section 245(1) of Income-tax Act, 1961, mandates providing of an opportunity to the taxpayer to make a representation before adjusting the refund against an existing demand. The taxpayer is required to agree, disagree or clarify the status of the demand.

Accordingly, taxpayers with existing demand(s) in the previous years are being intimated of the same, the official statement said.

The I-T Department said that this is a taxpayer-friendly measure where an opportunity is being provided in line with principles of natural justice.

For the Assessment Year 2023-24, 7.09 crore returns have been filed. Of these, 6.96 crore ITRs have been verified, of which 6.46 crore returns have been processed as on date including 2.75 crore refund returns, the I-T Department stated.