As much as Rs 9 lakh crore may be locked in direct tax disputes and the government hopes to gain substantially from 'No Dispute but Trust' Scheme proposed in the Union Budget 2020 last week.
Official sources said that Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey has directed senior tax officers to make the scheme a success by approaching the litigating taxpayers and convince them to avail the scheme.
As Direct Tax Vivaad se Vishwas Bill, 2020 has been introduced in Lok Sabha on Wednesday as a Money Bill, the Revenue Department has started ground work and held a high level meeting of the senior officials of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
It was decided in the meeting that tax officers would be required to approach, convince and facilitate the litigants in their jurisdiction to avail the scheme and the performance of the officers would be rated on the basis of their success in executing the scheme.
As on November 30 2019, there are around 5 lakh cases pending at various levels with disputed tax arrears amounting to approximately Rs 9 lakh crore. Further, given the lower rate of disposal of appeals, the amount of disputed tax arrears locked-up in these appeals is on the rise.
Industry has hailed the government move for bringing the scheme but has noted that the window given is very short. The government has termed the scheme attractive.
The bill tabled in the Lower House proposes to give advantage to taxpayers if the payment of disputed tax, interest or penalty is made on or before March 31, 2020 and with some conditions till June 30, 2020.
Under the scheme, taxpayers would be required to pay only the amount of the disputed taxes and there will be complete waiver of interest and penalty provided they make payment by March 31, 2020.
For disputed penalty, interest and fee not connected with the disputed tax, the taxpayer would be required to pay only 25 per cent of the same for settling the dispute.
A taxpayer shall be required to pay 110 per cent of the disputed tax (the excess 10 per cent shall be limited to the amount of related penalty and interest, if any) and 30 per cent of penalty, interest and fees in case of payment after March 31, 2020.
Those who avail this scheme after March 31, 2020 will have to pay some additional amount. The scheme will remain open till June 30, 2020.
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