Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, Revenue Secretary, Directs CBDT To Refund Rs. 5496 Crore To Small Taxpayers. Will AOs Oblige?

The CBDT has issued a directive dated 02.12.2015 stating that as on 01.11.2015, there were 2.07 lakh returns involving refund claims of Rs.659 crore for AY 2013-14 and 12.90 lakh returns involving Rs.4,837 crore for AY 2014-15 which are still pending for processing and issue of refunds. These returns have not been selected for scrutiny under CASS. It is stated that while reviewing the pendency of refunds, the Revenue Secretary has directed that refunds in respect of cases not selected under CASS and involving refund of less than Rs.50,000 for the assessment years 2013-14 and 2014-15 may be issued as early as possible. Based on this directive, the CBDT has “requested” the Chief Commissioners to “kindly advise” assessing officers to expeditiously process and determine refunds in non-CASS cases having claim of refund of less than Rs.50,000 and issue the same as early as possible.

Whether the Assessing Officers will obey the directives of the Revenue Secretary and of the CBDT requires to be seen.


F.No.312/109/2015-0T
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Central Board of Direct Taxes
(CBDT)

New Delhi, Dated: 2nd December, 2015

To,

All Principal Chief Commissioners of Income Tax.

Sir/ Madam,

Sub: Expeditious issue of refunds below Rs.50,000/- in Non-CASS cases for AYs 2013-14 and 2014-15.

I am directed to say that as on 01.11.2015, there were 2.07 lakh returns involving refund claims of Rs.659 crore for AY 2013-14 and 12.90 lakh returns involving Rs.4,837 crore for AY 2014-15 still pending for processing and issue of refunds. These returns have not been selected for scrutiny under CASS.

2. While reviewing the pendency of refunds, the Revenue Secretary has directed that refunds in respect of cases not selected under CASS and involving refund of less than Rs.50,000/- for the assessment years 2013-14 and 2014-15 may be issued as early as possible. Most of the returns for AY 2013-14 have now been pushed by CPC-Bengaluru to AST. Similarly, some of the returns of AY 2014-15 may also have been pushed by CPC to the assessing officer.

3. In view of the above, it is requested that the assessing officers in your Region may kindly be advised to expeditiously process and determine refunds in non-CASS cases having claim of refund of less than Rs.50,000/- and issue the same as early as possible.

This issues with the approval Member (Revenue), CBDT.

Yours faithfully

(Salil Mishra)
Additional Commissioner (OSD) (OT&WT)


17 comments on “Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, Revenue Secretary, Directs CBDT To Refund Rs. 5496 Crore To Small Taxpayers. Will AOs Oblige?
  1. Bobjee Kurien says:

    The AOs have not accede to the request

  2. bobjee kurien says:

    I am reminded of some thing that happens around us all the time.you ask a child not to do a thing he finding ways of not adhering to the direction.The child is always thinking of going against it to derive the gains of the act.So also with the assessing officers (in this case the ITO ACIT DCIT ADDL.CIT who are keenly awaiting to dip their fingers into (honey).When the Board is not after the small cases or the selection by the officers why on earth are they trying to show off their intelligence.It is like the traffic police man challaning a scooterist ot an auto to make that ‘topping’ he needs.

  3. N.Sreenivasan says:

    Even in petty belated refund claims, Assessing Officers resort to unncessary enquiries. Now due to advanced techonology adopted by the IT Department, AOs can verify the genuiness of the refund claim online. In case the details furnished in the belated refund claims reconcile with those appear in the IT website, small tax payers should not be called upon to furnish complex details.

  4. Varaprasad Daitha says:

    One more ambiguity in the CBDT circular is that the amount of refund. It says refunds below Rs.50000. It did not specify whether it was refund claim or the actual amount of refund that would be payable. If the refund that would be payable was the criteria certain injustice is being done to those whose refunds claims and interest accruing on the refunds if exceed Rs.50000 the conditions of the circular would not be applicable. Why not the CBDT foresee such exigencies while framing the circular or it was mechanical?

    • Bobjee Kurien says:

      The saving clause is

      ” kindly be advised to expeditiously process and determine refunds in non-CASS cases having claim of refund of less than Rs.50,000/- and issue the same as early as possible.”

      if the claim is less than 50000 then the AOs can issue the refund expeditiously

  5. Swati Mehta says:

    DIRECTIONS should be issued with specified time limits for clearing pendency of rectification applications, appeal effect orders and consequential issue of refunds / reduction in demand / nullification of demand.

    • Varaprasad Daitha says:

      Swati Mehta had rightly pointed out. There should be time limit when an exercise is proposed to be taken. But the CBDT never fixes any due dates for such group committed activities. This circular was an eye wash to the directions for the Revenue Secretary humble and polite directions. This is the way how the CBDT takes care of the directions of higher authorities. It itself never obliges any time frame or time bound actions like disposal of pending grievance petitions, disciplinary proceedings etc. That is why the field formations will never care seriously such circulars issued.

    • Bobjee Kurien says:

      When people who do not adhere to time limits they always take cover under loosely worded directions to ease their own conscience. Unfortunately the board does not set any time limits for it self

  6. Rajesh Bhardwaj says:

    Sir, the directive of RS/ CBDT to issue refunds below Rs 50,000 is laudable. However, the phrase used in the CBDT instruction ” as early as possible” is vague and liable to various interpretations. A definite date ( say 31-01-2016 or earlier) should have been given by which all such small refunds should have been issued. CBDT may recall how in 2011 the then Chairman Shri Sudhir Chandra laid down strict guidelines and dates by which the pending refunds were to be cleared by AOs with active participation and full responsibility of CCIT-1( now Pr. CCIT), other CCsIT and CsIT/ Addl.-Jt.CsIT. The pending refunds were thus cleared by due date by CCsIT. I would go a step further and request Hon. RS/ CBDT to order clearance of all pending refunds ( big or small) to have realistic idea of budget potential and avoid non- disposal of high refund appeals by CIT(A) ( of course on verbal requests by CBDT/ CCIT) and AOs creating infructous demands to adjust refunds and show distorted picture of budget collection. Let’s be real.

  7. Varaprasad Daitha says:

    Section 210(3) of the Incometax was diluted so that the AOs did not issue any notices for up gradation of advance tax. In its place the department had evolved a method of pressure tactics on top 100 cases of the range / AO to pursue for payment of more advance taxes. In order not to displease the AO / range head / CIT the authorised representatives used to convince their clients to pay more advance tax installments. Besides the tax deductors were also pressurized to deduct more deductions through the TDS cells. But when it coming to the question of refunding the department is raising all sorts of queries and practices of approving the refunds if it exceeded certain amounts of refunds inviting more and more corrupt practices. The Finance Ministry should come with a clear cut procedure of advance tax and TDS so that the refunds are minimised. For this the assessees might be given an opportunity to adjust their own claim refunds through returns of income filed against the subsequent year advance tax / TDS payments. This will enable the honest tax payers. The Finance Ministry can check the wrong claimers since they will be in small numbers compared to large number of tax payers.

    In this connection I might cite an experience that during March 2006 the CIT directed all the assessing officers of the charge to invite all top 100 tax payers for a lunch to be hosted by the AOs (i.e. the cost of lunch to be borne by the AOs). At the meeting the CIT requested all the top 100 tax payers to pay more advance tax installment. It is not stated by the CIT that where from the cost of lunch should be met. Obviously from the pockets of the AOs. Why they should meet. It is an open secrete that where from the AOs paid.

    Now the entire system of returns and maintenance of assessment records had been computerized and why not the Finance Ministry should consider the generation of notices u/s 210(3)?

  8. Bobjee Kurien says:

    Hence it is to be ensure that the range heads are alone answerable and accountable.

    The pleasure is theirs not the responsibility

    • Bobjee Kurien says:

      CBDT Chief Slams CCITs For “Casual & Cavaliar Attitude” To Refunds This was in 2011.The CBDT has been sleeping for 4 years That is what i noted with pain . All that the CBDT does is to recirculate the directions issued earlier . It would pay rich dividends only if the follow up action is taken on the directions issued by the Board.By not doing so the board has set a bad precedent for the authorities below

      • Bobjee Kurien says:

        From the desk of Chairman, CBDT
        S.N. 17 / March 11 ,2011

        Casual & cavalier attitude

        Refund cases not yet entered on the system

        All the CCITs, including the CCITs (CCA), were advised by the Board on Feb 28 & again on March 05 11 to provide data regarding paper refund cases not yet entered on the system.

        The CBDT feels anguished that, except CCITs Nagpur, Ranchi, Panaji & Guwahati, no other CCIT has taken care to comply with the Board’s appeal.

        Such a casual & cavalier response of senior-most functionaries in the field is disheartening for the Board, which is doing its best for the welfare of the entire cadre.

        May the CBDT expect that all the CCITs will get the paper refund cases not yet entered on the system uploaded today itself & ensure that all refund cases are processed forthwith without any further delay?

        From the desk of Chairman, CBDT
        S.N. 18/March 13 ,2011

        Our commitment to issue all refunds before March 31 2011 –

        CBDT’s requests / instructions / advice made on Feb 24, March 5 & again on March 8 2011

        At the moment we are issuing around 30,000 refunds every day. Around 2,000 refunds cases are being approved every day by Jt / Addl CITs. Though there is a definite progress in the issue of refunds, it is still far short of desired output.

        All officers are once again requested to immediately enter & process all the refund cases & issue refunds.

        All the CCITs are advised to daily review the progress of their regions & ensure that timelines given by the CBDT vide Message No. 11 dated March 5 2011 are scrupulously adhered to. No laxity or inertia would be tolerated.

        From the desk of Chairman, CBDT
        S.N. 11 /March 5 ,2011

        Processing of refund cases

        Vide my Message – 7 dated Feb 24 2011, I had requested all the CCITs to personally monitor all the time barring refund cases to ensure that these are necessarily processed by March 15, 2011.

        It is a matter of great regret that, despite a personal appeal made to each one of you, most of the CCIT regions have by 28/2/11 not provided details of time barring paper refund cases still not entered in the system. Once again I beseech you all to immediately mail the said information to DIT(S)-III, New Delhi at dit3.systems@incometaxindia.gov.in.

        As regards paper Returns entered in the system, all CCITs are once again advised to ensure processing of all time barring refund cases by 15/3/11.

        • Bobjee Kurien says:

          Now that the Revenue Secy has issued a “request” and not a direction lets see if the authoritiesin the CBDT will accede to the R S request and not directive

  9. bhalchandra says:

    As per routine practice authority press the public through AO to pay more tax by persuasion or under pressure to show better unrealistic target or rosy picture of progress. While question of refund arise many many reasons are raised with or without motive of reward.
    This Hippocratic is commenced – continued from the Top level of matrix who are advising lower level to be fare and judicious. If real feelings are for the public let top level may act judiciously and direct lower level. this attitude will only result in natural transparency.

  10. manish parekh says:

    Irony of how our thinking has been moulded by the British time rules devised for their own benefits to RULE & LOOT India’s resources – AND IT STILL CONTINUES TO RULE mindsets after 60 years. The first thought coming to mind is WILL THE OFFICERS OBEY ?” !!!!!!. They are supposed to!!!! But the rules framed give them such powers to save their skin. Please spread awareness to REDRAFT the IRS & IAS ACTS whereby they are framed in a manner which would automatically attract only those who want to SERVE and not those who want to “MAKE MONEY ” as is the present scenario.

  11. Varaprasad Daitha says:

    It is to be seen how wise the CBDT is. It does not specify whether the CPC, Bengaluru had processed or simply “pushed” the returns under AST. In such a case what is the agreement between CPC, Bengaluru which is being managed by a corporate i.e. Infosys Ltd. If the pending returns were “pushed” who will be accountable to the interest component that would be payable by the Government. Is it not the mockery by the department?

    Again the AOs are being made to be pursued by the Principal Chief Commissioners. But it is to be noted that it is the range heads who are accountable for such actions since the CBDT had agreed to the concept of cadre review and got more posts under it and it was stated that the range would be a unit of assessment. The AOs as well as range heads together with the CsIT have access to the AST arena. The staff of the range are under the direct control of the range head. Hence it is to be ensure that the range heads are alone answerable and accountable.

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