Filing an accurate income tax return and paying taxes on time is a necessary annual ritual that you need to undertake every year. However, you can also be the recipient of a pleasant surprise is the form of an income tax refund from the government! Sometimes, due to lack of knowledge, oversight or time, we could make errors on our income tax return and pay more tax than is due.  This can be quickly rectified.

How to apply for an income tax refund

If you have paid excess tax, you can claim an income tax refund. In order to file a claim for a refund, you need to submit Form 30. The claim should be made within one year of the last day of the assessment year.  No refund claim will be entertained after a limit of 6 years after the assessment year in question.

If excess TDS has been deducted, you will be eligible for a refund. However, there is no separate application form to apply for a TDS refund. When filing your income tax return, you need to show how you have computed your income, the tax to be paid, and the TDS that has been deducted. The software used by the income tax department will automatically identify excess TDS that has been paid and the refund will be credited to your bank account. In some cases, interest of 6% per annum might also be added if the refund is more than 10% of the total payable tax.

It is important to beware of fraud emails purporting to be from the IT department informing you that an IT refund has been approved and asking for your bank details to deposit the refund amount. The income tax department will never ask you for your PIN number. In case of a refund, the amount will be automatically credited to the bank account that you have entered at the time of filing your income tax return.

How to check IT refund status

It is easy to check online to see if your TDS refund has been sanctioned. You can track your TDS refund status by logging on to You need to enter your PAN number and the year of assessment to determine the status of your claim.

Taxpayers can view the status of their refund 10 days after their refund has been sent by the Assessing Officer to the Refund Banker. You can also check the status of your refund by contacting the help desk at SBI at their toll free number.