Mumbai, May 24 (PTI): Those running from pillar to post to get their Income Tax (I-T) refund dues can seek solace in Right to Information (RTI) Act, which is fast becoming a potent tool to get refund faster.
"Earlier, people's efforts to get their dues cleared from the I-T department went in vain. However RTI made the department promptly release the refund to applicants," Bombay Chartered Accountants' Society (BCAS) Foundation Trustee and past president and senior RTI activist Narayan Varma said.
The BCAS Foundation through its RTI Clinic headed by Varma, is the only association which along with other issues, guides people in I-T related cases, all free of cost.
"In past one year, 20 applications have been sent to the department. All the applicants have successfully received their dues. We have got back almost Rs 10 lakh," Varma said.
Gita Rai had a meagre annual income of Rs 1.15 lakh. She was entitled to get refund of Rs 40,995. Her refund was pending since year ending March 31, 2001.
"Inspite numerous requests, the department was unresponsive. Finally she approached the RTI Clinic of BCAS and applied for her dues on March 29. She got her dues back within a month on April 26. Her total refund amounted to Rs 56,833. Of this, I-T Returns was Rs 40,077 and interest Rs 16,756," he said. In case of Nicholai Varma, his refund was pending for a decade from assessment years 1996-97 to 2005-06. The total amount was Rs 87,538. He got the entire amount within one year of sending first application under RTI.