No manpower shortage for tax refunds: IT dept

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New Delhi, Jul 15: The Income Tax Department is completely geared up to meet the ever swelling rush of returns and refunds as it is on its way to recruit additional manpower for the purpose, it said on Monday, July 14.

There were certain reports about scrutiny of income tax returns and revenue collection being delayed due to acute shortage of officers in the I-T department and the process could take more time further. "It is clarified that such reports are not based on proper appreciation of full facts and are, therefore, incorrect and misleading," it said in a statement issued here.

There is no decrease or slackness, whatsoever, in the number and the amount of refunds issued in the last three years, which have increased at an average annual growth rate of 16.4 per cent and 14.7 per cent, respectively," it said.

It clarified that the manpower base of the Income Tax Department has been substantially enhanced with the government sanctioning 7,051 additional manpower for the department in November 2006.

It informed that the Refund Banker Scheme where the refund amount is directly transferred to the tax payers bank account, is likely to be extended to cover more regions.

The department also plans to set up Central Processing Centres to enable mass processing of tax returns, thus further cutting down time taken in processing returns.

During the fiscal 2007-08, over 48.5 lakh refunds were issued involving an amount of about Rs 41,100 crore, as against 32.5 lakh refunds involving an amount of about Rs 28,500 crore issued three years earlier (fiscal 2004-05), the department informed.

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