The Income Tax Department has urged taxpayers to address any outstanding tax demands for previous years in order to facilitate faster clearance of refunds for the 2022-23 fiscal year. This is a taxpayer-friendly measure, as it gives taxpayers an opportunity to clarify the status of any outstanding demands and ensure that they receive their refunds as quickly as possible.
On Saturday, in a post of X, the department was quoted saying
The Income Tax Department is making every effort to complete the processing of Income Tax Returns (ITRs) and issuance of refunds expeditiously
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 emphasis is on speedy processing and quick issue of refunds.
However, there are a few cases in which refunds are due to the taxpayer, but previous demands are outstanding.
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.
This is a taxpayer-friendly measure where an opportunity is being provided in line with principles of natural justice.
Taxpayers are requested to avail this opportunity and respond to such intimations to enable cleaning up/reconciliation of pending demands and facilitate the timely issue of refunds.