Many individuals who have successfully filed their income tax returns are waiting to receive their refunds from the authorities. However, quite a few of these people have been concerned by the delays in refunds. Many are finding it impossible to find a solution to this problem.
However, those troubled by the delay in their refunds now have a way to address the time lag by approaching the Ombudsman.
What is an Ombudsman?
The Ombudsman has been set up by the government as an independent body to address concerns of the people. It works as the intermediary between the tax-payer and the tax department. Consisting of officers formerly belonging to the Income Tax Department and Indian Revenue Service, it has been entrusted to resolve various complaints and problems of the people related to the Income Tax department.
There are presently 12 Ombudsman offices across the country entrusted with addressing concerns of specific regions. These centres are situated at Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune Ahmadabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kanpur, Chandigarh, Bhopal and Kochi.
How to approach an Ombudsman
Any person willing to approach the body has to first ensure that they have submitted a written complaint to the Income Tax officer.
If the complaint is not properly answered, or if the officer rejects to take the complaint or do not answer it properly within 30 days, then the individual can approach the Ombudsman. The person can lodge the complaint within a year from the day which the 30 day response period had come to an end.
While there is no strict pattern regarding how the complaint should be filed with the Ombudsman, certain basic details are essential. These include name, address and PAN of the person and copies of the complaint submitted to the income tax officer among others.
Once the ombudsman finds the complaint to be valid, it will not only have the power to make a decision but the IT department has bound to accept it. The only thing the taxpayer has to ensure is that he should confirm the acceptance of the decision within a period of 15 days.
First Published: IST