The Right to Information Act came into effect in 2005 and has been implemented since then to provide information to crores of Indian citizens. RTI grants you the access to records of different works, documentation and samples held by the public authority. The information obtained may be in the form of electronic storage or printouts. Let’s see how the income tax grievances are catered for with the help of RTI.
Income Tax related complaints with RTI
Income tax refund
If you are eager to make an RTI application in order to know the status of your income tax refund, make sure not to accuse or defame a particular official. Your RTI application must contain relevant and to-the-point questions only so that the answers can be given accordingly. Keep in mind that there are other grievance redressal mechanisms also on the income tax login portal.
If you want to get your income tax refund automatically, you must file your income tax returns through an appropriate online platform. Log in to your income tax portal to check if any intimation regarding rectification or other forms of notice has been delivered. You should also be cautious and check if there are mismatches in your TDS and Form 26AS. If there are, then you are required to contact your employer or bank for a resolution.
It is also possible that the AO might have adjusted the unpaid arrears in income taxes for a previous year to your expected refund for this year. In any case, your RTI response might reveal any further clarifications or instructions to be fulfilled on your part so that your refund gets issued.
Section 138 of the Income Tax Act classifies income tax returns as confidential information which is outside the scope of the RTI under normal circumstances. However, the PIO (Public Information Officer) may decide to make public the ITR of a third party if you can prove sufficient public interest is present. Political parties and companies may be subject to return revelations by citizens or shareholders of stock in the company.
Moreover, a CA cannot apply under the RTI on behalf of his client. The taxpayer needs to put his own name on the application. However, information on inspections, searches, seizures or raids may not be obtained under the RTI under Section 24 of the RTI Act.