The income tax (I-T) department has asked taxpayers to be cautious with alerts they receive for income tax refunds as they can be phishing messages to trick assessees. A typical fake message, looks similar to an official message from the department and reads like this: "Due to Covid-19 outbreak, central govt. has decided to provide tax refund to ALL taxpayers, in order to provide them financial ease during lockdown. Click below to claim your refund. (Phishing web link)".
Taxpayers have been warned in an advisory that the department has not sent any such communication.
"The department would like to advise tax payers, not to click or entertain any such communication that they receive. Please note, that these are phishing messages and not sent by the income tax department," it said.
Amid the ongoing financial crisis during the coronavirus lockdown, the I-T department has fast-tracked the process of issuing all pending income tax refunds up to Rs 5 lakh.
Till April 21, nearly 14 lakh refunds worth over Rs 9,000 crore have been issued to various taxpayers.
Taxpayers Beware!— Income Tax India (@IncomeTaxIndia) May 3, 2020
Please do not click on any fake link which promises to give refund. These are phishing messages and are not sent by the Income Tax Department. Please read the details carefully here https://t.co/90VSq32w0K#StaySafe#IndiaFightsCorona#StayAtHome#BeAwarepic.twitter.com/gfF2RZDTpu
"Taxpayers Beware! Please do not click on any fake link which promises to give refund. These are phishing messages and are not sent by the Income Tax Department," the I-T department said in a tweet today.
To avoid any fake transaction, the department has also been sending emails to taxpayers advising them to make a confirmation before processing their refunds.
All such confirmations should be carried out only on the income tax department's official e-filing portal, the advisory said.