After you have filed your income tax return by the due date, the next step is to claim the income tax refund. When a taxpayer pays more tax through TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) than his/her actual tax liability, the need for claiming the tax return arises. Ideally, a taxpayer can claim a tax return when the aggregation of advance tax, self-assessment tax, and TDS is higher than what he/she needs to pay to the government. The income tax return becomes due only when a taxpayer verifies it after filing his/her return.

The due refund is issued to the taxpayer by the income tax department after the processing of the tax return. While processing the tax department verifies every information and checks for any discrepancies between the declared income and the tax paid by an individual based on the available data. After successful completion of the processing, the refund amount is credited to the taxpayer.

Reasons that make a taxpayer eligible for an income tax return

As told earlier, a taxpayer becomes eligible to get an income tax refund only if he/she has paid more than his/her actual payable tax. The reasons that usually lead to this situation are as follows:

  • Individuals who earn below Rs.2.5 lakh per year don’t fall under the income tax bracket and they needn’t pay any taxes on their income or salary. However, if there are any instances when taxes get deducted from their income, they can claim a refund of the tax deducted from their income.

  • If an employee fails to submit proofs relevant to his/her investments by the end of the given fiscal year, the employer might deduct a higher amount from his/her salary. However, later while filing the income tax return, the employee can claim the investment benefits and the refund of the extra amount.

  • During the income tax proceeding, the taxpayers might have to pay additional taxes due to certain additions made to their income. Later, most of the times the appeal authorities delete such extra inclusions. If any such thing happens the taxpayer becomes eligible to get a refund of the excess tax paid.

Income tax return amount that a taxpayer is eligible to receive

  • After the processing of the tax refund claim made by the taxpayer, the Income Tax Department sends an intimation from CPC under Section 143(1) stating the amount of return that the taxpayer is eligible to receive. The intimated amount can either be the same or lower than the claimed amount.

  • In cases where the extra tax inclusions are deleted by the appeal authorities, the income tax officer by order decides the applicable return amount for the taxpayer.

How to check the status of your income tax refund online?

Once the tax department processes the refund of your income tax, you can check the status of the refund online. The status of the income tax refund can be checked either by visiting the government income tax e-filing portal or on the TIN NSDL website.

  • Process to check the status on income tax portal

Here is the step-by-step process to check the refund status on the income tax portal:

    • Step 1 – Log into the income tax e-filing portal at

    • Step 2 – Sign into your account using your login credentials like user ID, password, date of birth/incorporation, and the ‘captcha’ code.

    • Step 3 – Click on the ‘View Returns/Forms’ tab.

    • Step 4 – Next, choose ‘Income Tax Returns’ from the drop-down menu under ‘Select an Option’ tab along with the relevant Assessment Year.

    • Step 5 – Once done click on the ‘Submit’ button.

    • Step 6 – Click on the acknowledgment number and either ‘Successfully e-verified’ or ‘ITR Processed’ status will appear on the screen.

The ITR status can also be checked without using your login credentials. Here is the process to do that:

    • Step 1 – Click on the ‘ITR Status’ tab under the services tab available on the extreme left of the homepage of the e-filing website.

    • Step 2 – Next, fill the fields with your PAN number, ITR acknowledgement number, and the captcha code.

    • Step 3 – Once you are done submit the details. Either ‘Return Submitted and Verified’ or ‘Return Processed and Refund Paid’ status will appear on the screen.

  • Process to check the status on TIN NSDL portal

If you are checking the return on the TIN NSDL website here are the steps to follow:

    • Step 1 – Visit the TIN NSDL website at

    • Step 2 – Go to the ‘Services’ section and click on ‘Status Tax Refunds’ tab. Then select the ‘Status of Income Tax Refunds’ to go to the ‘Refund Status’ page.

    • Step 3 – Next, enter your PAN and applicable Assessment Year along with the ‘Captcha’ code.

    • Step 4 – Once done, cross-check the particulars, and click ‘Submit’.

    • Step 5 – You can see the status of your income tax return on the screen.

Income tax return status messages and what they mean

While you check the status of your tax refund claim online you may get different types of messages based on the status. Here is what these status messages mean:

  • Successfully e-verified/Return Submitted and Verified – The ITR has been successfully verified but not processed.

  • ITR processed – The ITR has been successfully processed.

  • Return Processed and Refund Paid – The ITR has been processed and the refund has been paid.

The online income tax return claim and status check facility offered by the income tax department is not only fast and easy but also convenient for the taxpayers. You can check the status of your income tax refund whenever you want to, even when you are on the go. Just make sure to keep all the information and vital particulars handy before starting the process.

Additional info, Find 5 easy steps to file Income Tax Online