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income tax refund pending

Income Tax Refund Pending (Must know Information)

You are liable to pay income tax if your annual income exceeds 2.5Lakhs.

You should file your returns before the due date for your tax and tax refund. Once you file your returns, you may receive your refund within 45 days from the Income Tax Department. You can check your income tax return status in the online portal. You can take the necessary actions for further processing on viewing your income tax return status.

You can view your income tax refund pending status easily through the online portal of the income tax department.

How long will my refund be pending?

Once you file your returns, processing your returns takes a couple of weeks. You can view your income tax return status online.

After the process, it takes nearly 20-45 days to receive your respective refund. During this period, you could see pending as your status in the portal. 

Once the merchant issues your refund, it may take 3-5 business days to appear in your account. You should first check with the merchant in case of doubts about your refund. You should confirm when the merchant issued the refund and how long the merchant typically expects their refunds to take.

Mostly, by the end of 45 days, you will receive your refund. 

If you fail to pre-validate your bank account, the income tax refund will still be delayed. You must also link your PAN to your bank account. If you have any due from the previous financial year, your income tax refund can delay further. 

Why does my tax refund say pending?

Once you file your returns, you may receive your refund within 45 days. 

You can view your income tax return status online.

If the status shows Pending means, your e-filed return is on its way, and the government hasn’t accepted or rejected it yet. It takes nearly 45 days to process your returns, and you may see the status as Pending through all these days. 

Why is my refund still processing in 2022?

It takes nearly 45 days to process your returns. The sooner you file your returns, the earlier you may receive your refund. As days pass, there are lots of returns to process by the income tax department. So, the chances that you get your return may be delayed.

There may be other factors too, due to which your refund may delay. These include,

  1. Any errors while you file your returns.
  2. Miss any documents.
  3. Requirement of additional review.
  4. Fail to pre-validate your bank account.
  5. Incomplete filing status.

Check for these factors if your refund is still processing and take necessary actions.

Why is my refund still pending after 21 days?

You should receive your returns within 21-45 days as soon as you file your returns. Any further delay may be because of factors such as,

1. You should e-verify your return and send the ITR-V within 120 days from the date of e-filing. 

2. If not, you should revise your returns and send the new acknowledgment to CPC, Bengaluru, as soon as possible.

3. Pre-validate your bank account with the correct details.

4. Check whether the IFSC code of your bank is valid. Your bank might have merged and changed the IFSC code. If you fail to update the same, your refund may take longer.

These may be the reasons for your pending refund even after 21 days. Consider them and take proper action.

Why has my refund been accepted but not approved?

Once you file your returns, you can check the status of your return in the online portal. If you see your status as Accepted mean, your returns pass through the initial screening and are in the hands of the Government now.

Your basic details and verification information are all correct and passed by the initial screening of the department. In such case, your returns show as Accepted. 

After acceptance, the Income Tax department has to approve your returns. In this stage, the department will verify all your previous taxes, debts, and income details.  

 If the Income Tax Department finds any debts, they will reduce your refund to cover the unpaid amount. Once they are satisfied that you have no outstanding debts, they will approve and issue your refund.

Thus if your refund is accepted but not approved, you might have any defects in your previous returns or any other issues you should take care of.

Almost all the returns will be accepted, as you will provide all the verification details correctly.

How long can the IRS legally hold your refund?

Once you file your returns, it gets processed by the Income Tax Department and you will receive your refund within 45 days.

In case of any discrepancies in your account, your refund may take time, and the IRS holds your refund to process. 

The IRS usually takes 60 days to clear out the issue in your account and to send your refund. In case the process is on hold even after 60 days, you need to submit a refund re-issue request to receive your returns.

What is the difference between pending and processing?

Your returns show several statuses like verified, pending, processing, processed, defective, etc.

Once you submit your ITR but did not e-verify yet, your status is pending.

After verification, your returns undergo a further process. During this stage, your status is Processing.

On successful verification and processing of your returns, your refund will be released, and you will receive it within 45 days. Now, your status is Processed.

Thus Pending means before verification of your ITR, and Processing means after that.

FAQ- Income Tax Refund Pending

1. How will I know if my refund was not approved?

Your refund takes nearly 45 days to process and receive in your account. If it takes longer, you can check the status of your returns in the online portal. Your status may show as defective, in case the income tax department fails to approve your refund.

You may also receive a letter stating the rejection of your refund.

2. Can the IRS reject a return after it has been accepted?

Once the income tax department accepts your ITR, it cannot get rejected. 

The department undergoes all the necessary verifications of your details once you submit them. Your returns will be accepted when the Income tax department is satisfied with the screening process. 

Hence if your returns are accepted, they cannot get rejected again. You will receive your refund within the stipulated time.


You should file your income tax refund pending within the due date to get processed and initiate your refund. You can check your income tax return status in the online portal. If your return status shows as Pending, it means your refund is on its way, and receive it within 45 days. You might get aware of all your doubts regarding income tax refund status and the meaning of pending status from this article.

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