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How to Pre-validate Your Bank Account for Income Tax Refund?

Updated: May 16


How to Pre-validate Your Bank Account for Income Tax Refund?

Receiving an income tax refund often feels like getting an unexpected bonus. However, to ensure this bonus lands smoothly in your bank account, a crucial step is required: pre-validating your bank account with the Income Tax Department. This straightforward yet essential process authenticates your bank details and facilitates direct receipt of refunds into your bank accounts. This not only streamlines the process but also safeguards against fraudulent transactions. 


In this article, we will guide you through each step of the pre-validation process, ensuring a hassle-free refund experience.

 

Table of Contents:

 

What is Pre-validation of a Bank Account?

Pre-validation is a verification process where your bank account details are checked and confirmed by the Income Tax Department before any transactions, such as tax refunds, are executed. This ensures that the account is active, matches the PAN (Permanent Account Number) details of the account holder, and can receive government payments.


Why is it Essential to Pre-validate a Bank Account?


Pre-validating a bank account is essential because of the following reasons:

  • Security: Ensures that the tax refund is deposited into the correct and verified bank account.

  • Error Reduction: Minimizes errors associated with incorrect bank details, ensuring smooth processing of refunds.

  • Compliance: Meets the Income Tax Department’s requirements for refund disbursement.

  • Faster Refunds: Accelerates the refund process, as pre-validated accounts are processed more quickly by the tax authorities.


Types of Bank Accounts which can be Pre-validated?


Most types of bank accounts can be pre-validated, provided they are linked to the PAN of the account holder. This includes:


  • Savings accounts

  • Current accounts

  • Cash or Overdraft accounts


What are the Prerequisites to Pre-validate your Bank Account?


Here are the essential requirements for pre-validating your bank account on the Income Tax Department's e-filing portal:


  • Active PAN Card: Ensure your PAN is active and linked to your bank account. The name on your PAN must match the name on your bank account.

  • Registration on e-Filing Portal: You need to be registered on the Income Tax e-Filing portal. Use your PAN as your user ID to register if you haven't done so already.

  • Correct Bank Account Details: Your bank account details, including the account number and IFSC code, must be accurately entered on the e-Filing portal.

  • Internet Banking Enabled: Some banks may require internet banking to be enabled to facilitate the pre-validation process.

  • Mobile Number and Email ID Linked to Bank Account: Your registered mobile number and email address must be linked to your bank account for OTP and verification purposes.

  • Bank’s Participation in the EVC System: Ensure that your bank participates in the  system set up by the Income Tax Department. Not all banks may be part of this system.

  • Adherence to KYC Norms: Your bank account must comply with all KYC norms, as non-compliance may lead to issues during the pre-validation process.


How to Pre-validate your Bank Account to Receive Income Tax Refund?


Bank account can be pre-validated by adopting any of the following methods:


A. By logging in to the e-Filing portal using PAN / Aadhaar


  • Step 1: Log in to the e-Filing portal using your user ID and password.


Step 1: Log in to the e-Filing portal using your user ID and password.
  • Step 2: Go to the My Profile page from the Dashboard.


Step 2: Go to the My Profile page from the Dashboard.

  • Step 3: Click My Bank Account. On the My Bank Accounts page, the Added, Failed and Removed Bank Accounts tabs will be displayed.


Step 3: Click My Bank Account. On the My Bank Accounts page, the Added, Failed and Removed Bank Accounts tabs will be displayed.


  • Step 4: On the Add Bank Account page, enter the Bank Account Number, select Account Type and Holder Type, and enter IFSC. Bank Name and Branch get auto-populated based on IFSC. If your bank is integrated with e-filing, your mobile number and email ID will be pre-filled from your e-Filing profile, and will not be editable.


Step 4: On the Add Bank Account page, enter the Bank Account Number, select Account Type and Holder Type, and enter IFSC. Bank Name and Branch get auto-populated based on IFSC. If your bank is integrated with e-filing, your mobile number and email ID will be pre-filled from your e-Filing profile, and will not be editable.

  • Step 5: Click Validate. On successful validation, a success message is displayed. You will also receive a message on your mobile number and email ID registered on the e-Filing portal. 


Step 5: Click Validate. On successful validation, a success message is displayed. You will also receive a message on your mobile number and email ID registered on the e-Filing portal.

B. By logging in to the e-Filing portal using Net Banking


  • Step 1: Log in to the e-Filing portal using your Net Banking account.


Step 1: Log in to the e-Filing portal using your Net Banking account.

  • Step 2: On login through Net Banking, the e-Filing portal will verify if the bank account used for login exists under the Added Bank Accounts tab. If the bank account is not already added, a confirmation message with the masked account number and IFSC is displayed, asking you to confirm if you want to add the account to e-Filing portal. Click Continue.


Step 2: On login through Net Banking, the e-Filing portal will verify if the bank account used for login exists under the Added Bank Accounts tab. If the bank account is not already added, a confirmation message with the masked account number and IFSC is displayed, asking you to confirm if you want to add the account to e-Filing portal. Click Continue.

On confirmation (for both methods A and B), the bank account details are included under the Added Bank Accounts tab with the status as follows:

  • Validated (if EVC is enabled for any existing bank account) OR 

  • Validated and EVC enabled (if PAN, Account Number, IFSC, and mobile number are successfully validated by the bank, and if EVC is not enabled for any other bank account).


On confirmation (for both methods A and B), the bank account details are included under the Added Bank Accounts tab with the status as follows:

How to Check the Status of Pre-validation Requests?


To check the status of pre-validation requests made, follow the below steps:

  • Log in to the Income Tax e-Filing portal with your user ID and password.

  • Navigate to 'Profile Settings' and select 'Prevalidate Your Bank Account'.

  • You can view the status of your requests in the dashboard under this section, which may be listed as 'Pending', 'Failed', or 'Validated'.


Common Validation Errors on Income Tax Portal


Following are the common types of errors in pre-validating the bank account on the Income Tax portal and its solutions:


Common Validation Errors on Income Tax Portal


Here are explanations and solutions for common validation errors taxpayers might face, ensuring smoother navigation of these issues:

  • Restricted Refund: This error occurs if the name linked to your PAN does not match the name associated with your bank account. To resolve this issue, ensure that both records are consistent. You may need to update your name on your PAN or modify your name details with your bank.

  • PAN - Bank Account - IFSC Linkage Failed: If your PAN is not linked with your bank account, the income tax portal cannot validate your bank details. Contact your bank to link your PAN or update your KYC details. After updating, you can submit a re-validation request on the portal.

  • Invalid IFSC: Following bank mergers or restructuring, IFSC codes may be revised. If you receive an error related to an invalid IFSC, you should re-validate your bank details. Enter the correct IFSC as per the latest information and submit a re-validation request.

  • Account Number Does Not Exist: This error indicates that the bank account number provided does not match the bank's records. Re-validate your details by entering the correct account number. If the problem persists, check if the account might be closed, inactive, have zero balance, be litigated, or be blocked. In such cases, using an alternative bank account may be necessary.


If a Bank Account is Pre-validated, will it also be EVC enabled?


Having a pre-validated bank account does not automatically enable it for EVC (Electronic Verification Code). After successful pre-validation, you must opt-in to enable EVC for the account separately through the 'Profile Settings'.


Can I Enable More than One Pre-validated Bank Account for EVC?

You can enable more than one pre-validated bank account for EVC on the Income Tax Portal. However, you can only use one account at a time to generate an EVC for e-verification of your returns or other purposes on the portal. You have the flexibility to switch between any of your pre-validated and EVC-enabled bank accounts as needed.


FAQ

Q1. What does it mean to pre-validate a bank account with the Income Tax Department?

Pre-validating a bank account with the Income Tax Department ensures that the bank account is registered and authenticated for the purpose of receiving income tax refunds.


Q2. Why is it required to pre-validate a bank account for income tax refunds?

Pre-validating the bank account is essential to facilitate the direct deposit of tax refunds. Moreover, it ensures that the transactions are completed faster and in a more secure manner.


Q3. How can I pre-validate my bank account?

One can pre-validate the bank account through the Income Tax e-filing portal of the Income Tax Department. These steps must be followed: Log in to the online account at Income Tax portal > go to the ‘Profile Settings’ menu >  Select Pre-validate Your Bank Account’.


Q4. What are the details required to pre-validate a bank account?

To pre-validate a bank account, following details are required: bank account number, IFSC Code, bank name, and mobile number linked to the bank account.


Q5. How much time does it take for a bank account to be pre-validated?

The bank account is pre-validated within 2-5 working days. A notification is sent via message and email once the bank account has been pre-validated.


Q6. What happens if there is failure in pre-validating the bank account?

If there is a failure in pre-validating the bank account, a notification is sent for the same. The details entered should be checked and then again the bank account should be pre-validated. If the issue still persists, the bank branch should be contacted.


Q7. Is it required to have an active internet banking in order to pre-validate the bank account?

Having an active internet banking is not a mandatory requirement for pre-validating the bank account. However, if it is activated, it can help to seamlessly verify the PAN with the bank account.


Q8. Is it safe to provide the bank details on the e-filing portal?

Yes. The e-filing portal is secure and uses encryption to protect the personal and bank details of the taxpayer. Moreover, the taxpayer should use a secure network while entering sensitive information online.


Q9. What should be done if there is a change in bank account after pre-validation?

If there is a change in bank account, the new bank account should be pre-validated on the e-filing portal following the same steps as earlier.


Q10. Can an income tax refund be received in an account not in the name of the taxpayer?

No. The bank account must be in the name of the taxpayer as per the PAN records. The Income Tax Department does not allow refunds to be credited into the account of a third party.


Q11. What if the bank account is closed before the refund is processed?

If the bank account is closed, there would be a failure to deposit the refund amount. The taxpayer will need to update and pre-validate the bank account to receive the refund.



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