Friday, May 25, 2012

Tax Refund Notification - Bogus Email

If you receive any email titled 'Tax Refund Notification', do not pay attention to it. In all probability, this is fake. Read on.
The email will be similar to the following:

Dear Valued Taxpayer,

We regret to inform you that your tax refund request was NOT processed successfully. This is beleived to have been caused by the submittion of incorrect/inacurate account information.

However, after the last account audition, the total refund payable to you is now 42,320.00 INR. Please follow the link below to re-submit a refund request and this time, endeavor to fill in your Information accurately to avoid further delay in the remittance of your tax refunds into your account


Note: Your request will be processed within a period of ten (10) working days

We appreciate taking the time to learn about our tax refund. It's one more way Income tax department can make your tax payment experience better.

Tax Refund Department
Department 0f revenue,
Ministry 0f finance,

There are various reasons why I feel this is a fake chain of emails.

1. The spelling mistakes in the email.

2. The 'Click Here' link mentioned in this email takes you to a stunning copy of the website, with a link which changes various addresses and settles down on something like

3. If you visit the National Website of the Income Tax Department of India, the link for which I've given above in the previous point, it is specifically mentioned that:

The Income Tax Department NEVER asks for your PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts through e-mail. 

The Income Tax Department appeals to taxpayers NOT to respond to such e-mails and NOT to share information relating to their credit card, bank and other financial accounts.

4. Once you click on the link given in the email, it asks you to select the bank in which you hold an account, where you want your tax refund to be credited. Suppose you choose ICICI Bank, it takes you to the ICICI bank website and asks for your login ID and password. All this while, the domain name keeps changing in your address bar. Highly suspect. Besides, the bit about asking for your email ID and password reeks of spam and scam.

In my five years of working in the accounting and taxation field, I have never come across the Income Tax Department sending such emails. All correspondence related to refunds is through written communication.

One of our clients forwarded this email to us yesterday, asking how to go about the refund process. That's how I figured out everything I've mentioned above.

However, I must warn you. There has been no news regarding this supposed fake chain of emails from the Income Tax Department. Nevertheless, I urge you to exercise caution and ignore such an email, if you receive any. Approach your Chartered Accountant or write a letter to your Assessing Officer, in case you want to know more about your tax refund status.