Giving relief to taxpayers, the Income Tax Department
has asked its officials to take action to refund excess tax even if such applications are hit by limitation period of four years.
"After due verification of any such claim on merits, the assessing officer shall issue refund of the excess amount, if any, so adjusted by CPC (Central Processing Centre at Bengaluru) due to inaccurate figures of arrear demand uploaded by the assessing officer," the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT
) said in a circular.
The circular will also help tax officials in resolving disputes regarding arrear demands shown as outstanding against them in the records of assessing officer and refund the excess tax collected from them.
In absence of the clarification, the officers could not have corrected or reconciled such disputed arrear demand due to limitation of four years.
Also, in some cases, CBDT said the assessing officer have uploaded such disputed arrear demand on the Financial Accounting System (FAS) portal of CPC.
This resulted in adjustment of refund arising out of processing of returns against arrear demand which has been disputed by assessees on the grounds that either such demand has already been paid or has been reduced in appeals, etc.
Under the existing provisions of the Income Tax Act, the assessing officer cannot look into refund cases which are more than four year old.
In 2011-12, the Income Tax Department had issued refunds of about Rs 95,000 crore, while the refunds in the first two months of the current fiscal totalled Rs 16,900 crore.
CBDT has also asked the officials to remove discrepancies in tax demands in the data being maintained by the CPC.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in May had informed Parliament that problems arising to taxpayers due to incorrect uploading of data would be addressed.