If you have paid additional tax in the previous years and could not claim it within two assessment years, the provisions of Circular no. 9/2015 can come in handy and you can now claim income tax refund for up to maximum of 6 years.
The income tax refund process has become even friendlier with the assesse being able to claim refund on taxes even after two years. The assesse can claim refund in case additional tax was deducted or collected at source or there was a higher tax amount paid through self assessment or advance tax. In such instances, the assesse can claim refund for up to 6 years from the year of deduction.
For the purpose of tax refund, an assessed person needs to make a condonation application to the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax (Pr. CIT) or the Commissioner of Income Tax (CIT). The Pr. CIT or the CIT will evaluate the claim on the basis of the merits of the genuine hardships and then may decide upon the refund of the tax. The Pr. CIT or the CIT may order the assessing officer to check the genuineness of the claim or even scrutinize the assesse for the claim made.
If the claim amount for one assessment year is less than Rs. 10 Lakh, then the assesse may apply to the Pr. CIT or CIT. If the amount of refund is more than Rs. 10 Lakh and less than Rs. 50 lakh, then the application needs to be made to the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax. In the instances when the claim amount is more than Rs. 50 Lakh, then the application needs to be made to the Central Bureau of Direct Taxes or CBDT.
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Following the right procedure can help you claim the additional tax you paid even beyond 2 years. However, you need to ensure that the claim is genuine since the assessment officer might scrutinize your claim and in case of any discrepancy, you might be penalized.