Income tax forms a much bigger part of the total tax revenue of the government. It is necessary to pay income tax if a person falls within the tax payable limits. In general cases, so as to avoid any evasion of taxes, rules have been made to deduct taxes at source on all the incomes. Read how tax deducted at source works. In cases where the tax payable is less than the tax already deducted out of the income, assessee can claim a refund of the excess amount so paid while filing his income tax return. We have written a guide on how to file tax returns. But he don’t know how to get tax refund from tax ombudsman
But because of the slow processes in government departments, tax payers face the problem of delays in income tax refunds even after so many months. They have to run to the income tax offices for getting their own money.
For the solution of such problems of the taxpayers to get tax refund from tax ombudsman, government has set up “Income Tax Ombudsman” for the redressal of their problems.
What is Tax Ombudsman in India?
To solve the income tax issues and other related problems of the tax payers in India, the government has introduced the concept of “Income Tax Ombudsman”.
Income Tax Ombudsman is the officer designated to redress the grievances and complaints of the tax payers. He works as independent and autonomous authority. It consists of former income tax officials or persons from Indian Revenue service as members.
The concept of Ombudsman was created by the Indian government in 2006 with the objective of solving complaints related to public grievances and complaints against Income Tax Department, their settlement and thus satisfaction of taxpayers which includes the information to taxpayers on how to get tax refund in India .
Till now, a total of 12 offices of Income Tax Ombudsman have been set up. They are in Mumbai, Delhi,Bangalore, Kanpur, Chennai, Pune, Kolkata, Ahmadabad, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Bhopal and Cochin.
Ombudsman are not free to look into every case and complaint, neither do they can. Their area of jurisdiction is very restricted. They can resolve grievances of taxpayers related to some particular issues such as-
- Issue related on how to get Income Tax Refund
- Issues relating to allotment of Permanent Account number (PAN)
- Improper behaviour of Income Tax officials
- Delays in solving case of interest waiver, rectification applications, giving effect to the appellate orders or release of seized books of accounts & assets after completion of concerned proceedings
- Lack of transparency in cases of scrutiny
- Non credit of tax paid by the taxpayer
- Any other issues related to violation of instructions issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) with regard to income tax administration etc.
- Income Tax Refund check
Although the scope of jurisdiction of tax ombudsman is much wider and includes all issues mentioned above and much more, the main concerning issue is Income Tax Refund and the related grievances.
How to get Tax refund from the ombudsman
Before approaching the ombudsman for claiming income tax refund, one should ensure that he has already submitted a written complaint with the income tax officer. He must wait for 30 days’ period for the decision of authorities before filing complaint to the ombudsman.
In case the complaint or the issue is being treated as appeal, assessment or revision by any income tax authority, the ombudsman
will not interfere in between. If the complainant feels that his issue has not been satisfactorily addressed or has been rejected by the income tax authority, then only he should approach the ombudsman.
The maximum time allowed to file complaint with the ombudsman is one year (after 30 days’ time for response from income tax authorities). No complaints can be filed with the ombudsman after one year of filing original complaint or the dissatisfactory jurisdiction or rejection by income tax authority as applicable.
**As per a rough estimate, 95% of the total complaints received by the income tax ombudsman are related to non receipt of the tax refund or receipt of lesser amount.
Documents to be submitted to get Income Tax Refund-
As a first step, the complainant needs to file an application with the income tax ombudsman stating about the non receipt of the income tax refund. This complaint must be duly signed by the complainant or his/her authorized representative.
Also, it must indicate the name and designation of the income tax officer against whom the complaint is to be filed.
The complaint to the ombudsman must be accompanied by following documents-
- Name, address and copy of PAN card of the complainant
- Reason for the application of complaint (demand of refund)
- Details of the issue or complaints filed earlier- date wise details of concerned complaints filed, and their results.
- Copies of relevant supporting your complaint such as income proof along with return of income, form no. 16 or 16A etc.
- The refund demanded from the ombudsman.
The procedure of “How to get Tax Refund”
The tax ombudsman acts as mediator between the income tax authorities and the tax payers for solving their grievance. It is much like a tax payer friendly authority that helps in redressal of problems quickly. It finds a common solution agreeable to both the parties as soon as possible. He acts in the most interest of the tax payers. He tries to find best way for benefit of the assessee. His decision is referred as “award”.
After receiving compliant from the aggrieved assessee, he sends a copy of the complaint to the concerned officer against whom the complaint has been filed and tries to solve the issue with mutual understanding. If any settlement could not be made, ombudsman shall pass a decision as per his understanding. The maximum time it can take to pass any decision is six months.
Decisions made by the tax ombudsman shall be in confirmation with the tax laws of the country. So the decisions made by the ombudsman are to be followed by the income tax authorities as well as tax payers. The tax payer has to give his acceptance to the decision made by ombudsman within 15 days of such decision. Otherwise, it shall be deemed void and shall have no effect.
The ombudsman can also instruct the concerned officers to release income tax refund check or to apologise to the assessee. He can also award monetary compensation upto Rs. 100000 for the inconvenience caused by him. You can save income tax by investing in long term FD and best ELSS mutual funds
Income Tax Ombudsman is kind of last resort for the assesses whose grievances are not treated by the income tax officials properly. It has been an effective way in case of income tax refund check & frequent delays in income tax refunds due to loss or misplacing of relevant documents in the department.