Cabinet nod for widening scope of direct tax resolution scheme

Cabinet nod for widening scope of direct tax resolution scheme

New Delhi: Terming the newly announced Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme for resolving direct tax disputes as an attractive offer for taxpayers, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said that the scope of the scheme has been widened to cover most of the disputes, including those in arbitration.

The decision was taken by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday.

Consequently, even cases, where taxpayers have got a favourable order challenged by the tax department would be eligible for availing the dispute resolution offer by depositing 50 per cent of the disputed amount.

Javadekar said that the scope of the scheme has been expanded to cover all kinds of disputes pursued in various courts, Debt Recovery Tribunals (DRTs) or are under arbitration.

As much as Rs 9 lakh crore is estimated to be locked in direct tax disputes and the government hopes to gain substantially from the 'No Dispute but Trust Scheme' proposed in the Budget on February 1.

As on November 30, 2019, there are around 5 lakh cases pending at various levels. Further, given the lower rate of disposal of appeals, the amount of disputed tax arrears locked-up in these appeals is on the rise.

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 the 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.

The cabinet also approved the protocol amending the agreement between India and Sri Lanka for avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion of taxes on income.

Source: IANS