The Income Tax Department has issued refunds worth Rs 71,229 crore in over 21.24 lakh cases till July 11, the Finance Ministry said on Friday. The move was aimed at helping taxpayers tide over the COVID-19 crisis. The government had in April announced its decision to issue pending income tax refunds at the earliest. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) - the top policymaking body of the Income Tax Department - issued income tax refunds of Rs 24,603 crore in 19.79 lakh cases to individual taxpayers, and corporate tax refunds of Rs 46,626 crore in 1.45 lakh cases to companies during this period, according to the official statement.
The government has laid great emphasis on providing tax related services to the taxpayers without any hassles, and is aware that during these difficult times, many taxpayers are waiting to see that their tax demands and refunds reach finality as quickly as possible, the Finance Ministry said.
All refund-related cleaning up of tax demands is being taken up on priority and is likely to be completed by August 31, it added.
For quick processing of their refunds, taxpayers should provide immediate response to emails from the Income Tax Department. "Many taxpayers have submitted their responses electronically for rectification, appeal effects or tax credits. These are being attended to in a time bound manner. All refunds have been issued online and directly into the bank accounts of the taxpayers," the ministry said.
Meanwhile, the due date for filing income tax returns for financial year 2019-20 (Assessment Year 2020-21) is November 30. Therefore, the return of income earned between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020 - which was due by July 31 - can now be filed by November 30. (Read More On Important Income Tax Deadlines)