A step-by-step guide to tracking your income tax refund using the income tax e-filing portal
Have you received an intimation from the Income Tax Department about your refund? Eager to find out when it will get credited into your account? Tracking the status of your income tax refund is important to ensure there are no processing delays or failures.
This comprehensive guide will tell you exactly how to check income tax refund status in a few simple steps.
Table of Contents
- Why Check Income Tax Refund Status?
- Income Tax Refund Process Overview
- How to Check Income Tax Refund Status 3.1 Method 1: Check Status on TIN NSDL 3.2 Method 2: Check Status on Income Tax e-filing portal
- Understanding Refund Status Messages
- What to Do if Refund is Delayed or Failed
- FAQs on Checking Income Tax Refunds
Why Check Income Tax Refund Status?
When you file your Income Tax Return (ITR) every year and have paid excess taxes for that financial year, you become eligible for a tax refund (along with interest) under the IT Act.
The Income Tax Department processes crores of ITRs and issues refunds annually. But refunds can sometimes be delayed or fail to get credited due to reasons like:
- Incorrect bank details
- Mistakes in data reconciliation
- High workload/processing delays
- Errors in data entry
That’s why it’s important for taxpayers to proactively track refund status instead of waiting indefinitely for the credit.
Based on the online refund status, you can:
- Identify delays and failures early
- Take corrective action for successful reissue
- Calculate expected date of credit
- Plan finances better
So don’t just sit around waiting for the tax refund that never arrives!
Follow this guide on how to check income tax refund status online through the tax department’s website.
Income Tax Refund Process Overview
Before learning how to check refund status online, let’s understand what the income tax refund process typically involves:
Step 1) File Income Tax Return
When you file your ITR declaring your income, deductions, taxes paid etc. for the assessment year, any excess tax paid by you is determined as the refund amount
Step 2) E-verify return
You need to e-verify your tax return electronically through methods like net banking, Aadhaar OTP, EVC etc. Refund processing only begins after e-verification.
Step 3) Initial processing
CPC processes verified returns using automated checks to validate arithmetical accuracy, deductions claimed, taxes paid and calculations of refund/demand.
Step 4) Rectifications
If discrepancies are found, an intimation u/s 143(1) is issued to rectify anomalies in the ITR to reprocess records
Step 5) Refund approval
Once validated, the refund is approved and an intimation is sent to the taxpayer that refund has been determined
Step 6) Refund credit
The refund will then get credited directly to your bank account via electronic mode. In some cases, physical refund cheques are also dispatched.
Processing typically completes within 6 months from e-verification or filing due date (whichever is later). This includes rectifications/rework if any.
Delays can happen during this sequence at various stages. Tracking status helps identify their root cause.
Now let’s see how to check the live status of your refund easily online.
How to Check Income Tax Refund Status
There are two methods to check income tax refund status:
Method 1) Check Status on TIN NSDL
- Go to TIN-NSDL website:
- Enter the following details:
- Assessment Year
- Captcha text
- Click ‘Submit’. Your current AY refund status will be displayed.
The NSDL website will show status as either:
- Refund Issued: Refund processed successfully
- Under Processing: Initial processing ongoing; check again later
- No refund: Return filed with tax owing/nil refund
- Rectification/re-processing: Discrepancies being rectified
However, NSDL will not show some status messages like ‘Demand determined’, ‘Rectification processed’ etc. that come at later stages.
So while convenient, it doesn’t reveal the full picture.
For complete end to end tracking of your refund trail, you must check status on the Income Tax portal:
Method 2) Check Status on the Income Tax e-filing portal
Follow these steps to check latest income tax refund status:
Step 1) Visit Income Tax e-filing Website
Step 2) Login to Your Account
Enter your PAN (as user ID) and password.
If you haven’t registered already, create an account by entering your PAN, name, date of birth etc.
Step 3) Go to ‘e-File’ and Select ‘Income Tax Returns’
Under the ‘e-File’ menu, choose ‘Income Tax Returns’.
Step 4) Click on ‘View Filed Returns’
You will see a chronological list of ITRs filed by you under different Assessment Years.
Step 5) Select the Current AY and Click ‘View Details’
Choose the latest AY (e.g. 2022-23). The portal will display buttons to view details, download or print your filed return.
Step 6) Check Income Tax Refund Status
This is what you’ve been waiting for! The bottom table clearly shows status of your refund as either:
- Refund issued: Payment done
- Pending: Processing in progress
- Failed: Not credited to account
It also displays important details like:
- Refund amount
- Refund issue date
- Bank name/last 4 digits of account no.
- Failure reasons (if any)
So with just your PAN and password, you can now check latest income tax refund status from anywhere in under 5 minutes!
Next, let’s understand what different status messages mean at various stages of processing.
Understanding Refund Status Messages
While checking income tax refund status online, you may see cryptic messages like:
- Refund failure
- Pending for rectification
- Refund determined
Decode what these statuses imply:
|Return yet to be processed by CPC. Check again after 1 month.
|Congrats! Refund has been approved & payment credited to your account via cheque/bank transfer.
|Invalid bank a/c no. or IFSC code entered while e-filing. Reissue refund with correct details
|Being processed but expected delays due to workload, reconciliation issues etc.
|Nil or low refund determined. Possibly tax demand raised. Check 143(1) intimation
|Discrepancies found. Verify errors via intimation message and file online rectification to correct mistakes
|Your refund claim rejected. Tax liability found/recalculated. Settle demand raised to avoid penalties
Important: Don’t ignore intimation messages sent by CPC regarding adjustments, rectification etc. Take prompt action.
We will cover next steps to resolve delayed/failed refunds.
What to Do if Refund is Delayed or Failed
Despite best efforts by the IT Dept, lakhs of refunds get stuck or fail every year due to various mismatches.
If your refund is pending long or status shows failure, here is what to do:
- First, check if bank account is pre-validated. Login to e-filing account & verify if bank a/c pre-validated under ‘My Account’ > ‘Pre-validated Bank Account’. If not, pre-validate account instantly online.
- If pre-validated, your refund failure is likely due to incorrect bank details entered while e-filing. Initiate ‘refund reissue’ request by:
- Logging in to e-filing account
- Going to ‘Services’ > ‘Refund Reissue’
- Selecting relevant ITR
- Entering correct bank a/c no. & IFSC
- Submitting request
This will retrigger the refund with latest details. Do keep checking status periodically for an update.
- For pending refund beyond 2 months, contact Assessing Officer from your jurisdiction. References:
- Call Helpline: 1800 180 1961
- Email: email@example.com
- Raise grievance on portal
- If bank account itself has closed or changed, you unfortunately cannot revise it now. Have to wait until next year to provide updated details. Clarify with bank if pending refunds can still be credited to closed accounts.
Note: The Income Tax Department has stated that from FY2022-23 onwards, refunds will be processed quicker in 10-45 days. So unless there are data mismatches or failures involved, you should receive refunds faster.
We have compiled other common income tax refund queries:
FAQs on Checking Income Tax Refunds
Which website is best to check income tax refund status?
For complete information, always check refund status from the Income Tax e-filing portal. Third party sites like TIN-NSDL only show partial status.
How long does it take to get income tax refund in India?
The typical processing timeline by CPC is 3-6 months from date of e-verification or filing.
But for AY 2023-24 returns, new systems for faster refund under 10-45 days are being tested.
Can I track income tax refund by PAN number?
Yes, only your PAN number is required to check income tax refund status online by logging in to e-filing account.
I haven’t received last year’s refund. What should I do?
If refund of previous AY is still pending, raise a grievance on the e-filing portal under ‘Services’ > ‘Grievances’. You can also contact Assessing Officer of your jurisdiction.
How much time limit is there for income tax refunds?
If refund is due, it must be processed within 9 months from financial year closing (i.e. by 31st December) as per reassessment time limits prescribed.
Can I claim refund after ITR due date?
Yes, you can file a late/belated return to claim refunds up to 31st December of same year. But it’s ideal to file by 31st July due date.
Is income tax refund considered taxable income?
No, the principal tax refund amount is fully exempt and not considered taxable income. However, interest you earn on such refunds will be subject to income tax.
We hope this guide on checking income tax refund status online has been helpful. You can now easily keep track of your refund!
Do reach out to the tax department for any clarifications required on pending refunds.
And consider seeking professional assistance from experts at FilingWala to ensure maximizing eligible refunds when filing income tax returns.