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Photo: Mint
Photo: Mint

Lok Sabha passes direct tax dispute resolution scheme

  • The Bill aims to resolve disputes with an outstanding direct tax arrears of Rs9.32 trillion, a part of which could come to the exchequer if the scheme is a success
  • Lok Sabha clears the Bill amid uproar by the Opposition parties over the recent sectarian violence in Delhi

NEW DELHI : The Lok Sabha on Wednesday cleared the Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas Bill, 2020 that offers a scheme to settle 483,000 direct tax related disputes giving relief on part of the amounts due as well as immunity from prosecution.

Lok Sabha cleared the Bill amid uproar by the Opposition parties over the recent sectarian violence in Delhi. The Bill tabled in Parliament last month aims to resolve disputes with an outstanding direct tax arrears of Rs9.32 trillion, a part of which could come to the exchequer if the scheme is a success. It could also spare courts and tribunals of prolonged direct tax litigation.

The scheme allows beneficiaries to pay the disputed tax arrears without interest and penalty if paid before 31 March and if paid in the first quarter of FY21, the amount due will go up by 10%. In case the tax dispute is over penalty, interest or fee, the settlement amount payable is 25% of the dues if paid before the end of March. If paid in the next quarter, the payable amount will go up to 30%.

According to experts, taxpayers have limited time to make use of the scheme by March end and an extension to April end would be a welcome move. Samir Kanabar, tax partner at EY India said rules and frequently asked questions (FAQs) will have to be issued to clarify operational as well as administrative aspects of the scheme.

Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey had earlier said that suggestions received from industry will be considered for inclusion in a set of guidelines to make the scheme a success. The suggestions received includes a demand for inclusion in the scheme of disputes where assessment orders have been made but appeals have not yet been filed.

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