A whopping 16 lakh refunds worth crores of rupees are lying unclaimed at the Income Tax department's central database centre for e-filing for want of "correct data from taxpayers".
Official sources said the Central Processing Centre (CPC), which receives and processes country-wide returns filed by taxpayers electronically, has not been able to entrust these refunds to their rightful owners for "want of correct data from taxpayers."
"Usually the department is blamed for not sending refunds to taxpayers on time but the fact is that the CPC has about 16 lakh refunds lying unclaimed," a senior IT officer said here.
The officer said the CPC, through its field offices and other communication channels, is trying to gather correct details of the legitimate recipients of these refunds which are estimated to hold "lakhs of rupees, if not crores."
"The amount locked in these refunds could be an estimated over Rs 2,000 crore. The period of these pending refunds pertain to at least the last 2-3 assessment years," the officer said.
The CPC, which has processed close to 3 crore e-returns till now in this financial year, says it has uploaded the facility of rectifying these refunds on its official web portal so that these can be sent to their rightful owners.
Another senior officer at the state-of-the-art facility said the CPC would want that the taxpayers who file online returns should exercise "user discipline" and fill all columns in the Income Tax Return (ITR) forms completely and correctly.
"The CPC is hopeful to clear these pending refunds as soon as possible," the officer said.
The CPC has also taken up a project to digitise the paper-based IT returns as the department desires to move to a stage where each and every return is e-filed in the country.