The income tax department on Friday asked officers to process returns filed up to the assessment year (AY) 2017-18 with refund claims by October 31, 2020.
In an order, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) extended the time given to the tax officers to process such returns, which were not picked up for scrutiny, from earlier date of December 31, 2019.
"To mitigate genuine hardship being faced by the taxpayers on this issue, Board ... hereby relaxes the timeframe...and directs that all validly filed returns up to the assessment year 2017-18 with refund claims which could not be processed and which have become time barred...can be processed now with prior administrative approval of principal CCIT/CCIT concerned and intimation of such processing...can be sent to the assessee by October 31, 2020," the CBDT said.
In order to clear old-pending income tax refunds of taxpayers till the financial year 2016-17, the CBDT had issued an order last year allowing taxpayers to file claim for their pending refunds till and issuance of such refunds by tax authorities by December 31, 2019.
Nangia & Co LLP Partner Shailesh Kumar said, "This is a welcome step from the government, which will not only allow taxpayers to receive their legitimate refunds, but more importantly help them improve their liquidity in these stressed times due to COVID-19."