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Representational image (Photo: Bloomberg)
Representational image (Photo: Bloomberg)

Direct tax settlement scheme fetches 72,480 cr so far to exchequer

The total amount of public sector tax disputes being settled under the Vivad Se Vishwas scheme alone is a massive 1,00,195 crore, a govt official said on condition of anonymity

New Delhi: Businesses, including state-owned firms, have so far paid 72,480 crore to the government under the Vivad Se Vishwas scheme, which allows them to settle direct tax disputes by paying the disputed arrears at concessional terms and avoid prosecution.

The total amount of public sector tax disputes being settled under the scheme alone is a massive 1,00,195 crore, a government official said on condition of anonymity.

Till Tuesday, 45,855 requests have been received for settlement. Formal filings in the case of some of the PSUs are being made. The scheme was launched in March this year but due to the pandemic, the due date for filing requests has been extended till end of December and companies have time till end of March 2021 to make the payment without additional charges.

The scheme allows settling disputes by paying the full principal demand without interest and penalty and in cases where the dispute is on interest and penalty, it can be settled by paying one-fourth of the disputed amount.

Officials had been enthusiastic about the scheme, hand holding those interested in the scheme to go through the formalities. The government had also launched an e-campaign to maximise the response.

Tax litigation has been one of the thorny issues the government has been trying to tackle. In the last few years, it has taken several steps including a scheme to settle legacy disputes relating to excise and service tax and raised the monetary threshold for the tax department to file appeals at various judicial platforms.

The department had also withdrawn over 13,300 appeals from income tax tribunals, High Courts and the Supreme Court after raising the monetary threshold for filing appeals last August.

Where declarations under the scheme has been made, all appeals have been withdrawn both by taxpayer and by the Income Tax Department.

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