Monday, December 4, 2023

CBDT Extends Refund Processing Deadline: Circular Dated 1.12.23

In a welcome relief for taxpayers, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has extended the deadline for processing income tax refunds through its circular dated December 1, 2023.

Extended Deadline: The circular primarily addresses the delays in processing electronically filed income tax returns with refund claims under Section 143(1) for Assessment Years 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21. It allows for the processing of these returns beyond the initially prescribed time limits.

The intimation regarding the processing of returns, which could not be sent within the timeframe specified under Section 143(1), is now permissible. The extended deadline allows for processing with prior administrative approval from Pr.CCIT/CCIT.

The intimation to the assessee regarding the processing under Section 143(1) is expected to be sent by January 31, 2024.

Non-Applicability in Certain Cases: However, it's important to note that this extension does not apply universally. There are specific scenarios where the relaxation granted by the CBDT does not extend:

  1. Returns Under Scrutiny:

    • The extension is not applicable to returns selected for scrutiny.
  2. Unprocessed Returns with Payable Demand:

    • Returns that remain unprocessed where demand is shown as payable or is likely to arise post-processing are excluded.
  3. Assessee-Attributable Reasons:

    • The extension does not cover returns that remain unprocessed for reasons attributable to the assessee.

While the circular provides relief for many taxpayers, those falling under the mentioned exceptions need to adhere to the regular processing timelines. This clarity ensures that the extended deadline is targeted towards specific cases, streamlining the overall refund processing system