The income tax department has brought in a new rule from this assessment year, without which you will not be able to get any tax refunds. So far, you were only needed to link your PAN (Permanent Account Number) with Aadhaar card to file income tax returns (ITR).

But now the I-T department has begun issuing income tax refunds only through electronic mode. The new rule means that the previous practice of sending tax refund checks through Speed Post has been eliminated. This is also beneficial for ITR filing cabinets since sometimes these checks used to be delayed.

Although the I-T department had been sending electronic refunds for the past few years, it is only in recent months that the practice of issuing checks has stopped entirely.

However, the tax collector will credit the refund directly to your bank account only under one condition: the bank account must be linked to your PAN. If the linkage is completed, the tax department has promised to issue a tax refund directly to your bank account quickly and safely.

The bank account to obtain the tax refund can be saving, checking, cash or even an OD account, but the PAN link is mandatory.

Linking your bank account with PAN is not a complicated process. Just make sure you have shared a copy of your PAN card with your bank branch. If they have PAN in their records, the two should link automatically. In case the link does not occur, the I-T department has asked taxpayers to contact the bank.

The tax collector has also provided a facility to verify if the PAN bank account link has been made. Visit the electronic filing portal of the income tax department, click on the profile settings section and then go to “Prevalidate your bank account.” Here you can check if any of your bank accounts are already validated or not.

If validation is not yet done, you can add a new bank account. The “Status” column will let you know whether your bank account is validated or not.

To validate your bank account, you must provide your bank account number, IFSC code, bank name and contact number that is linked to the account.

The electronic filing portal also offers you the option of choosing which bank account you want the tax refund to be credited.