If you’ve claimed Income Tax Refund in your Income Tax Return, chances are that you would be eagerly waiting for the Income Tax Department to process your Return and pay you the Tax Refund as computed as per the Income Tax Slab Rates.
However, you would be surprised to note that an Income Tax Refund Phishing Scam has been happening for the past few years wherein you would be sent an email regarding refund of the excess tax paid. The email states that your Income Tax Refund Status has been approved and to claim the Refund, click on the link given in that email. A Copy of one such email has been enclosed hereunder for your Ready Reference:-
When you click on the link stated in that email, it will take you to a website which would look exactly similar to the Income Tax Govt website. However, when you check the link of this website it would be different from the official income tax website.
The fake website that opens asks you for your Bank and Credit/Debit Card Details (including your Password and PIN No.) for the purpose of paying the Income Tax Refund due to you. However, as this is fake – the only purpose of making you submit these details is because the hackers would now have access to your Bank and Credit/Debit Card details and can use it for their own purpose.
Many such cases have come to light wherein the hackers behind this scam have withdrawn funds from bank accounts through such fake emails. The Govt is still trying to catch the hackers, but has been unsuccessful in doing so.
Such hackers are sending various different emails to many taxpayers and a few sample copies of such emails have been uploaded on the Income Tax Website and you can directly view the same here:-
You are requested to note that:-
- The Income Tax Department does not send any email requesting your PIN Numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts
The Income Tax Department has also announced that if you receive any email or find a website which you think is pretending to be of the Income Tax Department, forward the email/website url to [email protected]. You are also requested to sent a copy of the same to [email protected]
Correct Method of Checking your Income Tax Refund Status
If the Refund has been made, it would also be reflected in your Form 26AS which can also be viewed online.
- Recommended Read: How to view Form 26AS online
The Refund is made either by directly transferring funds to your Bank Account or through Cheque (depending on which option you selected while filing your Income Tax Return)
Your Income Tax Refund Status can also be checked by contacting SBI which is the sole Refund Banker for making the Refund at 18004259760 (Toll Free) or through email at [email protected]. For any Refund related query, the taxpayer should contact 0124 2438000 or email at [email protected].
Interest on Income Tax Refund
If you’ve paid excess tax or excess TDS has been deducted which exceeds the total tax that you were liable to pay, the Income Tax Department would be liable to make the refund payment along with the Interest due thereon @ 0.5% per month or part of the month. (Interest on Refund would only be paid if the Refund Payable is more than 10% of the total tax payable for that year)
After payment of such Income Tax Refund along with Interest, the taxpayer would be intimated about the same. Intimation would also be sent explaining the manner of computation of Refund and the Interest paid thereon.