In what could be a good news for lakhs of taxpayers, the Income Tax Department will now process and send refunds in a short time of 7-10 days as its latest technology upgrade of electronic and Aadhaar-based ITR verification has begun on a successful note.
The department's latest initiative to verify an Income Tax Return (ITR) by Aadhaar or other bank database has received positive response from ITR filers because of which the taxman, for Assessment Year 2015-16, was able to process and send refunds to bank accounts of eligible taxpayers in less than 15 days.
"The days are gone when getting an I-T refund used to take months or in some cases even a few years. The new electronic verification e-filing system has proved to be very customer-friendly and as a token of thanks to the taxpayers, the department is working to ensure their refunds are sent in a week or a maximum of ten days.
"This is surely the way forward in the administration of tax affairs in the country," a top officer of the department involved in these operations said.
According to latest statistics, the department received 2.06 crore returns on its e-filing portal as on September 7, 2015 (last date for ITR filing), which is an increase of 26.12 per cent over the last year when 1.63 crore returns were filed online.
The department's Central Processing Centre (CPC) as on September 7 processed 45.18 lakh returns and issued refunds to 22.14 lakh tax payers relating to assessment year 2015-16, it added.
During this period, the department electronically verified over 32.95 lakh e-returns.
The data added that peak filing rate touched 3,475 returns per minute this time as compared to 2,901 returns per minute last year.
As per some testimonials received by the department from taxpayers, also accessed by PTI, many have reported that they received their refunds in only 11 or 13 days from the day of filing their ITR.
"A robust mechanism has been created at the CPC in Bengaluru and a dedicated team of officials is in place. With these new technological advancements, the I-T Department wishes to completely eradicate human interface in these taxpayers services which directly leads to faster and hassle-free processing of ITRs and refunds apart from other services," the official said.
The new e-filing system, enabled only last month, allows online verification of a person's ITR by using either Aadhaar number, internet banking, ATM or email, thereby ending the practice of sending paper-based acknowledgement ITR-V to its office in Bengaluru.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes, the apex policy-making body of the tax department, has recently said that it's committed to improving taxpayer services through enhanced use and further improvement in technologies.