What happened to my IT refund?

In India, I am a self-employed individual with a salary. In addition, I work as a content writer for a Geneva-based nonprofit. It is not deductible for tax purposes. What should I do with this money?

It is presumed that you do not pay taxes on the same income in any other country.

Furthermore, if you are an ordinary resident of India, the income you receive from the Geneva organization for content writing will be taxable in your hands. The contractual agreements, periodicity of revenue, volume of transaction for which you receive income, and other factors will all influence how the income is classified. If it is determined that you and the Geneva organization have an employer-employee relationship, the income you receive will be subject to taxation as salary income. If, on the other hand, the contractual structure is based on professional fees,  the income received by you shall be taxed as income from business or profession.

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If the income is in the type of professional income, the applicability of tax rates (i.e. normal or presumptive), GST, the obligation of keeping books of accounts, tax audit, and so on should all be considered, based on the gross receipts / income level. You must pay tax on the aforesaid income using the prescribed advance tax instalments/self-assessment tax.

I filed my ITR exactly as per AS for AY 2021-22 and requested a refund, but the IT department took less TDS as mentioned in 26AS and provided less refund. How can I find out why my refund was reduced, and can I get the whole of my money back?

We’ve assumed that you’ve received notice under section 143(1) of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (the Act), and that the tax authorities (Centralized Processing Centre) have calculated a lesser income tax refund than you claimed in your tax return for AY 2021-22. In general, the explanatory table in the aforementioned intimation lists the details of TDS credit claimed vs. TDS credit examined by the tax authorities (i.e. information of matched vs. unmatched TDS claim). You can use the information in the table, as well as the computation provided in the notification, to figure out why the refund was reduced.

Furthermore, if the mistake is clear from the record, you should make an online rectification application under section 154 of the Act against the abovementioned intimation in order to obtain the remaining refund. For the purpose of filing the stated online rectification application, you may refer to the online rectification user manual available on the income tax portal. The tax authorities will issue the remainder refund once the rectification application has been handled properly.

If the issue is not remedied through the above rectification request, other options such as appeals and grievances may be considered, subject to the time limits.