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Refunds through RTI

If your refunds, rectifications, other matters like not getting orders to give effect to the Appellate orders, etc. are pending since long, reminders not bringing any results, you may make application under the RTI Act to the Commissioner of Income-tax (CIT), under whose jurisdiction you are assessed to tax. The CIT has to dispose your application within thirty days of the receipt of the request (S. 7 of the RTI Act). In other words, normally you will get your work done within these 30 days; i.e., Assessing Officer will send the required orders like intimations, orders u/s. 154, etc. with refunds, etc. and the CIT then will reply to your application within 30 days, stating that your application has been attended and you must have received the refund orders, etc. At times, there may be delay in getting some refunds as in my case, but you will get them ultimately.
 
If the issue is connected with Appellate matter in IT Department, please note that all the CIT(A)s are also PIOs and you may write to the concerned CIT(A) if the appeal is pending since long and not heard or after having been heard, the order is not received by you, etc.
 
The present interpretation of the relevant provisions of the Act on who can apply  is that only citizens of India can apply. Hence, if the information (action) sought is in the matter of any firm, company, trust, HUF etc. the application will have to be made by the relevant partner, the director, the trustee, karta, etc. If the application is for any client, he will have to make the application himself.
 
 There are two approaches in making an application seeking information :

1. One approach is to ask questions in the manner which pinpoint defaults and persons who are responsible for delays and asking broad questions, more on macro level e.g., in the information sought, one asks:
 
Does your concerned officer maintain rectification register? Are there any CBDT instructions on the subject of rectifications? If yes, please give a copy and inform whether these are followed in your charge.
 
If the officer has defaulted in carrying out these instructions, any action is taken against him? if yes, what? if not, why not?
This approach embarrasses the PIO and often replies to such questions are avoided, but the work gets done.
 
2. Second approach is to just seek status of your pending matters and request information as to when action on the same will be taken. 
 
As we want cordial relations with the Department with whom we deal on ongoing basis and also want to get results, the second approach does achieve the purpose of improving the functioning of the Department, but the approach is un-confrontational and yet demands action by the power of the RTI Act.