ANI Photo | I-T Dept has taken several initiatives to ensure ease of compliance for taxpayers: Principal Chief Commissioner, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

Several taxpayers have claimed refunds of as high as 75 per cent to 90 per cent of the Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) deducted by the employer, tax officials said at a press conference at IT Towers, Masab Tank in Hyderabad on Friday.
Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Mita Madhusmita was addressing a press conference on the ‘Issue of Suspicious Refunds’ being claimed by certain Taxpayers’.
Senior officials of the Income Tax Department from Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Vishakhapatnam and Tirupati participated in the press conference.
Speaking at the event, the Principal Chief Commissioner said, “Income Tax Department has taken several initiatives to ensure ease of compliance for taxpayers and encourage voluntary compliance.”
“The Income Tax Return form has been simplified and the process of e-filing has been made seamless. The Department reposes trust in its taxpayers, as evident that no proof of deductions or exemptions that have been claimed is required to be uploaded while filing the returns,” she said.
Further, the returns are processed expeditiously and refunds are automatically credited to the bank account of the taxpayer, she said adding that the Income Tax Department also monitors the correctness of returns filed by taxpayers, including the eligibility of deductions and exemptions claimed by them.
It has been found out that a large number of salaried taxpayers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have claimed deductions or exemptions which are not correct and have claimed refunds based on those deductions or exemptions, the press release said.
Many of the assessees work in government departments, PSUs and prestigious IT companies. It is also noticed that a large number of such taxpayers work with companies based outside Andhra Pradesh and Telangana but have PAN based in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the statement read.
Field enquiries suggest a trend that gullible employees get lured into claiming such wrongful refunds on the advice of intermediaries/peers, without realizing the consequences thereof. Recently, surveys on consultants/intermediaries were conducted, in which incriminating evidence about such malpractices has been found.
The persons admitted to have filed large number of returns with bogus deductions/exemptions and have got refunds of substantial amounts for their clients, in return for some commission. Names of taxpayers for whom such returns were filed, has been found recorded in their documents, which have since been impounded.
On being questioned, some of the clients admitted to have got wrongful refunds based on ineligible deductions or exemptions. Many such taxpayers have already filed Updated Returns and many more are in the process of doing so.
Under the Income Tax Act, 1961 there are stringent consequences of misreporting of income and claiming wrongful deductions. The consequences include interest at 12 per cent per annum, penalty at 200 per cent of taxes and prosecution which may entail imprisonment.
However, those who have filed such claims and taken wrongful refund from the Department can file Updated Returns under section 139 (8A) for Assessment Year 2021-22, Assessment Year 2022-23 and deposit due taxes as per Section 140B.
For Assessment Year 2023-24, Revised returns can be filed under section 139(5) in those cases where original return has already been filed. Given the gravity of the situation, the Department urges all such taxpayers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to reconsider their claim of deductions and exemptions made in the returns filed for 2023-24, 2022-23 and 2021-22 and to expeditiously file Updated or Revised returns, as applicable, if claims made by them are unsubstantiated, the press statement read

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