CII Survey: Taxpayers Hail I-T Refund Process as More Efficient and Transparent

A recent survey by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has revealed a significant improvement in the efficiency of the income tax (I-T) refund process, with over 87% of individual respondents and 89% of firm-level respondents reporting satisfaction with the process. This positive feedback is attributed to a series of measures implemented by the Income Tax Department to simplify and automate the refund process, resulting in reduced waiting times and increased transparency.

Key Findings of the CII Survey

The CII survey, conducted among over 3,500 taxpayers, highlighted several key aspects of the improved I-T refund process:

  • Reduced Waiting Times: A significant majority of respondents (84% individuals and 77% firms) reported that the time taken to receive their refunds has decreased. This reduction is attributed to the implementation of automated processing and the streamlining of procedures.
  • Convenience and Transparency: The survey found that taxpayers appreciate the increased convenience and transparency of the refund process. The online filing of ITRs and the availability of real-time tracking of refund status have significantly enhanced the user experience.
  • Trust in the I-T Department: The improved refund process has contributed to an increase in taxpayer trust in the I-T Department. This positive sentiment is crucial for encouraging compliance and promoting a tax-friendly environment.

Recent Data on I-T Refund Processing

Recent data from the Income Tax Department corroborates the findings of the CII survey, indicating a substantial improvement in refund processing efficiency:

  • Over 1.9 crore tax refunds were issued in the financial year 2022-23.
  • The average processing time for refunds has been reduced to less than 20 days.
  • The percentage of refunds issued within 30 days has increased to over 80%.

Government Initiatives to Enhance Refund Processing

The Indian government has undertaken several initiatives to streamline and expedite the I-T refund process, including:

  • Introduction of Pre-Filled ITRs: Pre-filled ITRs, populated with taxpayer information from the Income Tax Department, have reduced the time required for ITR filing.
  • Implementation of e-Refund Scheme: The e-Refund Scheme enables taxpayers to receive their refunds directly into their bank accounts, eliminating the need for paper checks.
  • Establishment of Centralised Processing Centres: Centralised Processing Centres have been established to handle a large volume of ITRs and speed up refund processing.

A Positive Step Towards a Taxpayer-Friendly System

The CII survey’s findings and the recent data from the Income Tax Department highlight the significant progress made in improving the I-T refund process. These improvements have enhanced taxpayer satisfaction, fostered trust in the I-T Department, and contributed to a more efficient tax administration system. The government’s continued focus on modernization and automation will further streamline the refund process, making it even more convenient and transparent for taxpayers.



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