ITR filing: Important to track your income tax return status – how long does I-T department take to process returns? – Times of India

Income Tax Return Filing FY 2023-24: The deadline for filing Income Tax Returns (ITR), July 31, 2024, for the financial year 2023-24 (assessment year 2024-25) is approaching. One important point to note is that even if the ITR is filed on time, ensuring that the Income Tax Department processes it is crucial. Without successful processing, any due income tax refund will not be credited to the taxpayer’s bank account.

ITR processing time

According to an ET report, typically, the processing of income tax returns takes an average of 15-45 days from the e-verification date of the ITR, as per tax professionals.If the offline verification method (ITR-V form) is used, the processing time may be longer. Once processed, the taxpayer will receive an Intimation under Section 143(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. This intimation cannot be issued more than 9 months after the end of the financial year for which the return was filed. Therefore, for ITRs filed for FY 2023-24, the intimation will be received by December 31, 2024.
If the return is not processed within this timeframe, the tax department is required to review the return further, meaning the return cannot remain unprocessed indefinitely.
Also Read | ITR filing FY 2023-24: Why is Form 16 important for salaried individuals when filing income tax return?

ITR not processed? Follow these steps

If a taxpayer’s ITR remains unprocessed for an extended period, they can lodge a complaint through the “Grievance tab” on the income tax portal. Alternatively, they can contact the Central Processing Centre (CPC) via helpline numbers.

Reasons for delayed ITR processing

Several factors can influence the processing time of an ITR, including:

  • The form selected for filing
  • Complexity of the ITR
  • Amount and nature of claims for deductions/exemptions
  • Whether Deductions/Exemptions covered in Form 16

Simpler forms like ITR-1, used by individuals with straightforward income sources, are typically processed faster than more complex forms like ITR-3, which are used by individuals and HUFs with business or professional income. Detailed financial information requires thorough verification by the income tax authorities, contributing to longer processing times.

Notifications after ITR processing

Once the ITR is successfully processed, the taxpayer will receive an intimation notice under Section 143(1), which can indicate:

  • Intimation for tax demand: If discrepancies are found between the tax return and the records held by the Income Tax Department, a notice indicating additional tax payable may be issued.
  • Intimation for tax refund: If no issues are found, the department will issue a refund. Any detected issues will be adjusted before issuing the refund.
  • No demand or refund case: This notification indicates that no additional taxes are due and no refund is payable.

Also Read | Form 26 AS: Filing Income Tax Return? Know why Form 26AS is important & how to download it

Income Tax Department’s statement on ITR processing time

In a press release dated September 5, 2023, the Income Tax Department stated that it has significantly reduced the average processing time of ITRs after verification. For returns filed for AY 2023-24, the average processing time was 10 days, compared to 82 days for AY 2019-20 and 16 days for AY 2022-23.

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