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2 mins Read | 5 Years Ago

10 Reasons Why You Have Not Received Your Income Tax Refund


Every taxpayer in India awaits the time when he/she gets the tax refund. The government of India proceeds the refunds after you have filed the tax returns. As per the IRS (Indian Revenue Service) norms, it generally takes about 21 working days to issue the refund after it is processed.

If you do not receive the refunds beyond the stipulated time, the delay could be because of various reasons. Before you hit the panic button, it advisable that you check your income tax refund status online. You can also call the check the status of your refund by calling the IRS hotline. Typically, the delay in the tax refund happens because of the following reasons:

1. Incorrect information

While filing your returns if you have committed any mistake or if the IRS finds a numerical error, it can significantly slow down the refund process. When an error is detected, the return is earmarked for review, which means that the IRS employee will personally go through the file and identify the mistake. This can extend the refund process by a few days or weeks.

2. Victim of tax fraud

While you check income tax refund status online, check if you have become a victim of tax fraud; your tax refund might be delayed because of identity theft. If someone else uses your social security number or if the tax preparer alters the direct deposit information, you can become the victim of a fraud and getting refund will be delayed until the situation is resolved.

3. Form 8379

If you have filed a joint tax return with your spouse and if all or a part of the tax refund was applied the spousal support debts, your own refund can be delayed. In such a case, you need to fill Form 8379 for injured spouse allocation. This process usually takes about 60 to 90 days to process.

4. Spousal demise

A common income tax refund enquiry is related to the death of a spouse. If your spouse was due for returns, but if they passed away before filing the tax refund, you would need to submit IRS Form 1310 (Statement of a Person Claiming Refund Due to a Deceased Taxpayer) to avoid delay in your refund.

5. Communication address not update

This is another common reason why several people experience a delay in receiving their tax refund. If the communication address provided is wrong, you need to update the same on the income tax website before you claim the refund back.

6. False Bank Account Information

Today, most people prefer getting their tax refund deposited directly into their bank account than getting the paper cheques as it takes longer to process the refunds. However, to ensure that you get online income tax refund without delay, you must enter the bank information correctly. Even a simple mistake like spelling error in the name or entering incorrect bank account number can delay the refund by a few weeks or even months.

7. The IT department needs additional information

If the IT department while assessing your tax refund claim finds that your claim for the refund is questionable, then they might request you to provide supporting documents to support the claim. In such cases, the refund on tax returns will be delayed until you provide the necessary documents.

8. Defective returns filed

Your income tax refund process can be delayed if the IT department treats your income tax returns file as a defective return. In case of delay of the tax refund, you can check income tax refund status online on the income tax website.

9. Amendments made to the returns file

In some cases, you may want to make changes in the tax returns after it is filed. The amendment may be necessary because you realised that made a spelling error or you have missed out on claiming a deduction. In such cases, the processing time can be extended by 12 to 16 weeks before the refund is initiated.

10. Refund adjusted with outstanding demand of the previous year

If your online income tax refund status shows, refund claim rejected it could because the refund tax refund for the current year would have been adjusted with the outstanding demand of the previous years.

So, now that you know the various reasons why tax refunds could be delayed, check your status online and take appropriate measures to claim the refund.



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