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Each year we all pay our taxes diligently as responsible taxpayers. We determine our tax obligation for the year based on the estimated income. Employers withhold TDS depending on our pay.

In some cases, you may have paid additional tax to the government. There may be instances of excess tax being paid to the income tax department. When you file your income tax returns, you can claim a refund of that excess tax amount. In this guide, we show you how you can track the status of your income tax refunds.

When can you claim income tax refunds?

  • When you have paid more tax than your actual tax liability
  • When TDS amount deducted is more than your actual tax liability
  • When you have invested in some tax saving instrument at a later date in your financial year and want to claim a refund correspondingly
  • Due to double taxation; for example, if you are an Indian citizen but earn income from another country. India has Double Taxation Agreements with many countries where, if tax is deducted at the source country, it will not be taxed in India.

How do you claim an Income Tax Refund?

Under the Income Tax Act, a taxpayer is expected to file his / her return within the applicable assessment year in order to claim the refund. For a given FY, the corresponding assessment year (AY) is the FY which immediately succeeds that year. When the submission meets all the requirements, the IT Department accepts the same and issues the refund. Please note that the ITR should be filed within the due date of filing returns to be eligible for the refund.

Previously, the tax department used to issue refunds to the bank accounts to which your PAN is linked and pre-validated. But starting this year, you must ensure that the bank account you wish to receive the refund amount is selected on the ITR Form.

Tracking Income Tax Refund Claim Status

Once you have filed your ITR and it has been accepted, the IT Department will initiate the refund. You can check the status of your refund online.

  • On the income tax e-filing website
  • On the TIN NSDL website

How to check income tax refund on the income tax e-filing website?

Step 1: Visit the Income Tax e-filing portal. 

Step 2: Log into your account by entering your User ID, password, and the CAPTCHA code.

Step 3: On the homepage, click on “View Returns / Forms”  

Step 4: On the next page, your PAN will be auto-filled. You have to choose “Income Tax Returns” under the ‘Select an option’ and hit ‘Submit’.

Step 5: The next page will display a list of all the Income Tax returns you have filed. Here, click on the relevant acknowledgement number.

Step 6: The page will display the status of your Income Tax Returns. It will also show the status of your income tax refund. It will show the following details:

  • Mode of Payment
  • Refund amount
  • Date of clearance

How to check income tax refund on the nsdl website?

The NSDL website also provides various Income Tax related services to users. The feature is called ‘Refund Banking’ or ‘Refund Tracking’, and is available on the TIN-NSDL website. Here are the steps to track your refund status on the NSDL website:

Step 1: Login to the TIN-NSDL official website. 

Step 2: From the homepage, go to Services Status of Tax Refund. You will be taken to the Refund Banker page.

Step 3: On this page, click on ‘Refund Tracking’ from the left side pane. It will ask you to select between ‘TAXPAYER REFUND’ and ‘DEDUCTOR REFUND’. Choose Taxpayer Refund and hit ‘Proceed.

Step 4: In the subsequent page, you need to enter the assessment year and your PAN Number. Then, enter the Captcha Code and hit ‘Proceed’.

Step 5: The page will display your refund status based on your ITR processing.

What are the different kinds of refund status messages?

As stated above, the refund status depends on your ITR processing status. If the ITR has been processed successfully, you might see a refund initiated status. If it has been rejected and no refund has been initiated, you might see a ‘refund status not found’ message. Here are some common refund status messages that could be displayed.

Refund Status-Expired: This means the refund cheque you got was not deposited in the bank during the specified time frame. A cheque expires after 90 days, before which a taxpayer is expected to send the check to the bank to collect the payout. A taxpayer is allowed to apply 'Refund Request For Reissue' on the e-filing site in such a case.

Refund Status- Refund Returned: This could happen for 2 reasons. If the income tax refund is sent to you via ECS (electronic clearing service), the transfer of payment could fail if you have given the details of the wrong bank account.

A demand draft or cheque could have been returned if the mailing address is wrong or you were unavailable to accept the post.

Refund Status - Processed Through Direct Credit but Failed: It means that SBI initiated a direct transfer of the refund amount but it failed due any one of the following reasons:

  • Account had been closed;
  • Operations in the account had been stopped /restricted /On Hold;
  • The account is a fixed deposit, loan, or Public Provident Fund (PPF) account;
  • It is a non-resident Indian (NRI) account;
  • The account holder may be deceased;
  • Account details are incorrect

Refund Status - Refund processed through NEFT/NECS but failed: This means that the refund issued via NECS / NEFT mode failed. In this case, the taxpayer has to recheck the account number, account details, MICR / IFSC code provided at the time the return was filed.

Refund Status - Adjusted against outstanding demand of previous year: This indicates that the refund has been applied in part or in full for the current year against the remaining claim for the previous assessment year. Under section 245, the tax department has full power to do this. Such action, however, can only be taken after sending the taxpayer an intimation in writing about the planned action to be taken.

ECS refund advice received but not reflecting in your bank account: You may have received an email from SBI containing details of the amount of refund credited to your account. The ECS receipt will display the recipient name, account number, IFSC / MICR code, NEFT UTR number or NECS sequence number etc. as shown on the TIN website. If your bank account does not represent the same amount, then please check with your bank and see if the money has been transferred to the wrong account. You can also send the details by email to itr[at]sbi[dot]co[dot]in.

Refund Re-Issue Request

If your refund has been rejected or returned due to any of the above reasons, you can apply for a re-issue:

  • Login to your IT account on the income tax e-filing website.
  • Go to 'My Account' tab and select the 'Service Request' option.
  • Choose the request type as 'New Request' and the category as 'Refund Reissue'.
  • You will be taken to a page showing details such as your PAN, return type, assessment year, acknowledgement number, communication reference number and response.
  • Click on 'Submit'.
  • You will be required to verify and submit your bank and address details correctly.
  • The system will then verify the request using an electronic verification code (EVC) or digital signature certificate (DSC) to complete the process.


1. How will the IT refund be sent to me?

Depending on the option exercised by the assessee during the filing of its annual ITR, reimbursement will be made either by electronic mode, i.e. direct credit to account, or by Refund Cheque. Accordingly, tax payers are expected to enter appropriate account number and IFSC code along with full address information including PIN code at the time of return filing. Refunds issued by cheques are sent via Speed Post to the address given by the taxpayers.

2. What are the options to check my IT refund?

You can check your IT Refund on the Income Tax e-filing website or from the TIN-NSDL portal.

3. The TIN status (refund status) shows that refund had returned. What should I do?

The taxpayer may give correct bank details and raise refund reissue at e-filing portal/Assessing Officer.

4. The status on TIN shows that interest had been deducted on my refund. What is that?

This implies that TDS had been deducted under Section 195 at the time of assessing refunds u/s 244A on interest income paid to NRIs. For more details, please contact Ward's Assessing Officer where you submitted your return / CPC Bangalore for online return filed.

End Note

The process of claiming your Income Tax Refund has been made very simple. The Income Tax website and the TIN-NSDL websites are very user friendly and the on-screen instructions are quite self-explanatory. Users are advised to make use of these facilities to their benefit.

How To Track Your Income Tax Refund Status - Customer Reviews

0 / 5 (2 Reviews)
16 Feb 2021

Good website - easy to use,

16 Feb 2021

Good website - easy to use,

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