INCOME TAX REFUND

What is Income Tax Refund?

The amount receivable by the taxpayer when he/she paid more taxes than the actual payable amount. One should calculate tax after considering all the deductions, exemptions, and refunds before filing the income tax return

How to claim an income tax refund?

To claim the income tax refund, you have to give the written proof of the income and deduction details to the Income Tax Department by filling a form. Make sure you provide all the details of your income/tax deducted/tax calculated of the relevant year to ensure that refund is reflected in your income tax return. Remember to claim a refund while filing an income tax return online.

I forgot to file my Income Tax Return within the due date, can I claim my refund now?

Oh no! Don’t worry, if you have missed the deadline. You can file an income tax return refund/loss under Section 139(4) by filling the Belated/Late Return. But, try to avoid missing the ITR file deadlines. The Income Tax Department charges a penalty fee for the late taxpayers.

I am eligible for a refund as per my ITR but haven’t received it yet?

First, make sure that you have received the message of verification of your Income Tax return within the 120 days of filing ITR. After the verification only, the refund process will start. You can check your mail id or the online application portal to know the status.

If it’s already been verified, then the reason for not receiving your refund can be:

  • Your ITR status is still under process
  • You might have received notice from the IT department regarding the submission of your income tax return such as Defective notice u/s 139(9).
  • There might be no refund as per the Income Tax Department.
  • You might have given the wrong bank details or postal address etc. There might be some errors made by you.
  • You might have outstanding demand and the IT department adjusted with your refund application.

How much time does it take for a refund to get credited to my Bank Account?

According to the procedure, the Income Tax Department processes your refund only after verifying your income tax return successfully. Generally, the time taken is 35-40 days for the refund from the day e-verification is done. When you file the income tax return online by sending the documents to the CPC Bangalore, it takes more time to claim a refund.

For how many previous years can I claim Income Tax Refund?

To get a refund, the taxpayer has to successfully file the income tax return. In previous years the Income Tax Department used to give freedom of filing previous 2 years to claim the refund. But now from FY 2017-18, you can claim the tax refund till the end of the relevant assessment year. Hence, from 2018, now the tax refund can be filed within one year only.

Amount of claim (refund / loss) for any one assessment year Application To:
10 Lakhs or less Principal Commissioner of Income-tax/ Commissioner of Income-Tax
More than Rs.10 Lakhs but less than Rs. 50 Lakhs Principal Chief Commissioners of Income-tax/Chief Commissioners of Income-tax
More than 50 Lakhs Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)

However, in such cases, the Income Tax Department doesn’t pay any interest.

Terms for Income Tax Refund


  • You are eligible to claim a refund when you pay the tax more than you should have based on the self-assessment
  • If your tax deducted at source (TDS) is more than the regular tax payable amount.
  • Some people pay double tax on their income when they are working overseas. The government might avoid double taxation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a tax refund and a return?

The income tax return is the tax on your income every financial year. Whereas, an income tax refund is the amount received by taxpayers when the paid taxes are greater than taxes payable. One can claim the returns after successfully filling the income tax return.

Are income tax refunds and TDS refunds the same?

Yes, in the big picture both the TDS refunds and income tax refunds are the same. The excess TDS deducted over the actual payable amount is called an income tax refund.

When is the income tax refund received by the taxpayer?

Once the Income-tax return submission is done successfully, after the verification of the return process by the Income Tax Department. However, you might receive a refund in 35-40 days, if you have claimed the refund online.

Is Income Tax refund taxable?

No, the income tax refund by the Income Tax Department is not taxable. You might have to pay the tax on the interest received by showing it as “other sources”.