How to check the status of Income tax refund online?

Last Updated at: Jul 25, 2020
How to check the status of Income tax refund online?
The Central Board of Direct Taxes issued a press release on 24 June 2020 where it stated that there will not be any extension being granted to individuals who have a self-assessment tax liability of Rs 1 lakh for the FY 2019-20. In addition, delayed payment of the tax would incur fines.


A taxpayer is eligible for an income tax refund in case of any excess payment of tax made for the previous financial year. Usually, a higher tax amount paid at the time of advance tax payment, or self- assessment or tax deducted at source (TDS) makes the taxpayer eligible for a tax refund. To claim this refund, you need to file an income tax return (ITR), and if the income tax department finds that a refund is payable to you, an SMS is sent with the complete information about the amount due.

However, the IT department is now refunding the excess tax to the assessees electronically, i.e., online, paid directly to the bank accounts provided the PAN is linked to the bank accounts of the receivers. Not only claiming refunds, but taxpayers can also check the status of their returns online by visiting:

  1.– Income tax e-filing website

Let’s have a look at the steps to be followed to check the refund status on both these websites

E-filing website

    1. You need to visit the website- and login to your account.
    2. The next step would be to select the option Refund/Demand Status option under the My Account tab.
    3. Then you must select the assessment year and click on the acknowledgement number. A popup will appear with details, and the refund status, if applicable, will also be mentioned. Along with this information, features like a reason for the failure of refund, mode of payment, etc. will also appear.

NSDL website

    1. Visit the website- and enter your PAN details.
    2. Select the assessment year and enter the captcha and submit.
    3. A refund status will be displayed along with other details.
    4. Information about the refund is available on this website 10 days after the IT department forwards it to the bank for processing.

All tax refunds are processed by the State Bank of India and are sent to the taxpayer either by directly crediting the bank account via RTGS/NEFT or by issuing a cheque for the same. E-refunds are being processed only for bank accounts that are linked to PAN and is pre-validated on the e-filing website.

Start Your Tax Return

As mentioned above, there will various refund status updated when a taxpayer will log in to check the refund status. We will discuss the meaning of the different status messages on these websites:

Refund status “Expired”

This status would mean that the taxpayer did not deposit the cheque received from the IT department for a refund within the stipulated timeframe of 90 days, which is the cheque validity duration, into his bank to encash the same. In such cases, the taxpayers have to request a refund re-issue on the e-filing portal.

Refund status “Returned”

There are two scenarios where this status would be updated against the refund status-

    1. The refund was processed electronically through ECS. However, the amount that was not transferred to the taxpayer due to incorrect bank details like the MICR/IFSC codes updated in the records online.
    2. A cheque or a demand draft was sent via mail but was returned due to incorrect/incomplete address details or even if the house was locked.

Refund status “ Processed through Direct Credit but Failed”

This simply means that the refund was credited directly to the taxpayers’ bank account, but due to reasons like a closed account, an NRI (Non-Resident Indian) account, account holder deceased, or incorrect account details, the refund was failed.

Refund status“ Adjusted against outstanding amount of previous year”-

The IT department can go ahead and adjust the amount of refund of the current year against the payment of outstanding income tax from the previous year if required. This can be done by informing the taxpayer in writing for the action to be taken.

Refund is processed but not reflecting in the taxpayer’s bank account

It may so happen that the taxpayer has received all the information regarding the transfer of the refund through ECS by the State Bank of India. However, the amount is not reflecting in his bank account. In this case, you need to check with your bank first whether the amount was credited to a wrong statement. Alternatively, you can also write to to get more information.