Confirm your ITR in 15 days to get refund: income tax dept mails many taxpayers

If you have filed income tax return (ITR) for the last financial year i.e., for FY 2021-22 with a claim for income tax refund, then you might get an email from the income tax department asking you to confirm it. As per the email sent by the income tax department to several ITR filers, individual taxpayers who have claimed income tax refunds in their ITRs are required to confirm that the ITR filed by them is correct and they actually have income tax refund due to them. Further, the confirmation must be made within 15 days of receiving the email. While the email does not mention what will happen if this 15-day deadline is not met, some chartered accountants say that it may attract a notice from the income tax department asking for more proof in support of the ITR.

The emails are being sent to many individual taxpayers who have claimed deduction(s) under the old tax regime in ITRs filed for FY2021-22 but the deductions are not captured in their Form 16. Further, emails are being sent to several ITR filers who have conveyed to the employer that they have opted for the new income tax regime but while filing their ITR have switched to the old tax regime. Due to the mismatch in their Form 16 and ITR filed, the system may consider it as an excess deduction being claimed. Some individuals are also getting emails if their gross total income is lower than the previous year.

Chartered Accountant Naveen Wadhwa, DGM, says, “The income tax department sends emails asking individual taxpayers to confirm that income tax refund is actually due where they find something suspicious in the ITR. This is because it does not match with the data available with the income tax department via Annual Information statement, Form 26AS etc. This scenario arises when an employee does not declare an investment to the employer, makes a new investment at year-end after submitting the evidence to the employer, or changes his tax regime other than the one declared to the employer.”

The email sent by the tax department reads as follows:

Dear Taxpayer,
It is seen that a claim of refund has been made in the Income Tax Return for AAXXXXXXAA for AY-2022-23 filed by you on XXXX.

Your income-tax return has been identified under risk management process of the Income-Tax Department. In this context, your confirmation is required on the following claim(s)/deduction(s)/omissions in the return.

Reason: It is seen that you have enhanced deduction under Chapter VI-A in your return of income. Verify correctness of deduction under Chapter VI-A claimed in your return of income.

This communication is intended to alert you on any possible incorrect claims/omissions in the above-mentioned return of income.

Please verify the correctness of claims made in your return of income filed and submit your response within 15 days of receipt of this e-mail. In case of any incorrect claims/ omissions, please revise your income-tax return (ITR) for AY 2022-23.

Mails sent to those having less gross total income

Some individual taxpayers have received emails stating that they have less gross total income as compared to the previous year. The reason mentioned in the tax department’s mail is as follows:

: It is seen that you have revised your return of reduced gross total income. Verify correctness in your claim in respect of reduced gross total income in your return of income.

Abhishek Soni, CEO, – an ITR filing firm says, “Individual taxpayers (who have claimed that income tax refund is due to them while filing ITR) are receiving an email to confirm that information mentioned by them while filing ITR is correct and income tax refund is actually due to them. This is happening in case an individual has claimed additional tax deductions which are not reflected in Form 16 or changed his/her income tax regime/Gross Total Income is less than last year. There is no threshold that individuals having income tax refund above this amount are receiving such emails. The tax department is sending such emails to those ITR which they find suspicious.”

How to confirm ITR filed is correct

Once you have received the email, the individual taxpayer is required to login to their account in the new e-filing portal and follow these steps:

Step 1: Click on ‘Pending Actions’ tab and select ‘Worklist’ option

Step 2: Select the option ‘Response for Refund Confirmation’. Here you will be shown two options – a) The claims in my return of income are correct and b) I will revise my return of income to correct the amount of refund claimed.

If the information mentioned by you in your ITR is correct, then taxpayer can choose option (a). However, while checking if the information in ITR is incorrect or any other information is missing, the individual can opt for option (b). If option (b) is chosen, then note that the individual will be required to file the revised return. Do note that the last date for filing revised return is December 31, 2022, for FY 2021-22.

As per chartered accountants, it may happen that the email is sent mistakenly to you by the income tax department. Due to this, you are not seeing any pending action on the income tax portal. In such a scenario, it will be advisable to raise the grievance on the income tax portal to confirm that email was wrongly sent to you and no action is required from your side.

What will happen if confirmation is not sent within 15 days

Soni says, “The email sent by the income tax department asks an individual taxpayer to send their responses within 15 days. However, there is no clarity on what will happen if individual taxpayer fails to submit the responses within 15 days of receiving that email.”

Wadhwa says, “Although there is no clarity on what will happen if responses are not submitted within time limit, however, it may happen that assessing officer can send you income tax notice asking to provide the proof of deductions that are claimed by you. Further, limited scrutiny assessment can also be initiated against you”

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