New Delhi, Jan 17: The Income Tax department will issue over 64,000 refunds involving an amount of about Rs 1,148 crore to small taxpayers by this month-end as part of government's directives to quickly address grievances of the tax paying population in claiming their bonafide dues.
As per an official data accessed by PTI, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has asked the taxman to issue refunds in a total of 64,938 pending cases involving Rs 1,148.14 crore, by January 31.
The data said these refunds pertain to small taxpayers where the individual refunds in a case are below Rs 5,000 and belong to Assessment Years of 2013-14 and 2014-15.
"The directives have been issued after CBDT Chairman A K Jain recently held an all-India conference with senior officials of the department. Pending refunds was an important issue that was discussed and it was ordered by the Board that these small refunds need to be issued in any case by January 31," a senior official privy to the development said.
The official said status will be reviewed by the CBDT in the next few days, post the deadline, and in case any refunds under the said category remain un-issued, action will be taken.
The directive comes just after the CBDT had announced that refunds upto Rs 5,000 and refunds in cases where outstanding arrears are upto Rs 5,000 "may be issued without any adjustment of outstanding arrears" as part of its initiative to "reduce taxpayer grievances and enhance the taxpayer satisfaction".
As part of the same drive, a sum of Rs 1,793 crore was issued in refunds (between January 1-10) by the IT department in over 18.28 lakh cases where individual refund amount was less than Rs 50,000.
Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia had also said yesterday that the department has issued a record Rs 65,000 crore worth refunds so far in this financial year to 1.98 crore assesses.
"These special measures on the refunds front are being undertaken as part of government's drive to ensure that obtaining one's own bonafide money from the revenue collecting authorities should be as easy a procedure as filing the IT returns.
"A refund is much cherished by a honest taxpayer and that feeling of getting it on time is the least the Finance Ministry and the IT department can ensure. Let there be no doubt about it," the official said, adding even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked the department to address this issue expeditiously as it was seen as the single biggest complaint of taxpayers in the country while dealing with personal income tax matters.