The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has made an assessment criticizing the performance of the Income Tax department for the delay done in giving tax refund to the beholders.
The CAG has presented a report in the Parliament saying that the department has not followed the time frame which was figured for refunding the small tax payers and senior citizens.
CAG had conducted a performance review of the I-T department in the time frame from 2005-06 to 2008-09. The review has signalled several cases when there have been delay without reason by the I-T department in processing refunds, especially the refunds of small tax payers which stand at lower values.
"We noticed instances of unwarranted delays at various stages in processing, issue of refunds after processing and of refunds not received by the assessees after issue," CAG report said.
"The department had set a standard for settling the refund claims in four to six months. Our analysis, however, showed that refunds were processed in an average time of 10 months after submission of the claim," CAG further quoted in its report.
The department has taken as long as 40 days for making the refunds reach the assessees after their issue while the international standards range from 24 days to 6 weeks.
When a benchmark of three months has been set by the department for processing refund claims of senior citizens, the actual scenario takes around 12 months for the process to be done.
"Some stated that the assessment module provided for this priority processing could not be run due to systematic problems while others stated that there were no special arrangements for senior citizens," CAG noted.
The CAG has suggested the Finance Ministry to incorporate a mechanism at the Bangalore-based Central Processing Centre so that the refund claims of senior citizens are dealt on priority basis.