How to check if you have filed the previous year’s income tax returns?

Once you file your returns, you can choose to check what stage of processing your IT returns are in. This is to stay better informed and get a clear idea about the status of the refund that you may have claimed.

September 15, 2019 11:24 IST | India Infoline News Service
Tax Return Form
Now that the process of filing income tax returns is behind, you are eagerly waiting for a refund. Did you know that you can know the status of your refund for the previous financial year? Here is the detailed procedure of how to know the status of your refund. Let us however begin with what you need to do before you check the status of your refund.

As a taxpaying citizen you already know that filing income tax returns is not enough. Once you have filed your returns, you are expected to verify it. You can do it online through your Aadhar with an OTP or by using your online banking facility. You can also verify your returns by sending a signed physical copy of the ITR V to the Central Processing Centre (CPC). Once you have verified the returns from your end, the IT Department begins processing your returns.

During this process, the IT Department checks if there are errors or discrepancies in the income or tax computed by you, according to their own records. In case of any discrepancies, you are sent a notification about the same under section 143 (1). A course of action such as additional tax payable that will be adjusted against the refund amount to be claimed, will also be mentioned in this notification that you will receive from the department.

If no discrepancies are spotted, your processing goes on smoothly. Once the processing is complete, the department will send a notice under section 143 (1) stating that the returns you have filed have been accepted. Once you file your returns, you can choose to check what stage of processing your IT returns are in. This is to stay better informed and get a clear idea about the status of the refund that you may have claimed.Here are two ways to do it.

Without using login credentials:
  • On the homepage of the e-filing website, you will find the services tab. Here you will find the option to check the ITR status.
  • Once you click on this option, you will be instructed to fill in your PAN number, ITR acknowledgement code and a captcha code that will appear on your screen.
  • Once you follow the above steps, the status of your refund will reflect on your screen.

By using your login credentials
  • You can also check the status of your returns by logging on to the e-filing website.
  • On the left hand corner, you will find the dashboard option.
  • The dropdown menu will take you to view returns/forms tab.
  • Follow this tab and select income tax returns and the relevant assessment year and submit.
  • When you submit this data the status of your returns will be displayed on your screen.
  • Here you will come to know whether your returns have been verified or have been processed.
It is a prudent practice for every taxpayer to check the status of his or her returns. It will give you a clear idea if you are on course to receive a refund. It will also give you enough time to prepare to use your refund wisely.

Most people spend the “extra cash” they receive as a tax refund in purchasing some white goods. However, if you invest it wisely, it may yield far better results for you. Here are some ideas for you to put your IT returns to best use.
  • Foreclose any high interest debt that you are servicing: If you are servicing a personal loan or credit card at a high rate of interest, you may want to consider repaying it to become debt free. In turn, you can also improve your credit score. Your credit score serves as barometer of your financial health. The higher your credit score, the higher your chances of being able to access credit easily in the future as per your needs.
  • Build or enhance your emergency fund: An emergency fund is an imperative for one and all. An emergency fund should be able to take care of at least 6 months to a year of your expenses. If you do not have an emergency fund yet, use the returns you receive to build one immediately. In case you already have one, you can consider enhancing it.
  • Contribute more towards your retirement kitty: Retirement is inevitable for one and all. Thus, it is never too early to start planning for it. If you are young and think that you have a lot of time to invest for your retirement later, you are making a rookie investor mistake. The earlier you begin, the longer you have to expand your retirement kitty. This will ensure that you have a comfortable second innings in your retired years.
For short term goals, such as building an emergency fund, you can use liquid funds that are short term and liquid in nature. For long term goals like retirement, investment in equities over the long term will yield the desired inflation adjusted returns. 

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