Monday, 30th October 2017

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Tax amnesty plan rejig hint

A whopping sum Rs 9.32 lakh crore is locked up in various tax dispute forums, an amount equivalent to almost a year’s direct tax collections

  • Published 7.04.20, 2:00 AM
  • Updated 7.04.20, 2:00 AM
  • a min read
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“The government is open to suggestions for better implementation of the scheme and propose amendments to the (amendment) bill,” P.C. Mody, chairman of the CBDT, said at the video meet. (Shutterstock)

The tax amnesty scheme may be in for an overhaul with the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown throwing the economy in an utter disarray.

Indications of a revamp came from the CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes) chairman at a video-conference organised by the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT).

“The government is open to suggestions for better implementation of the scheme and propose amendments to the (amendment) bill,” P.C. Mody, chairman of the CBDT, said at the video meet.

A whopping sum Rs 9.32 lakh crore is locked up in various tax dispute forums, an amount equivalent to almost a year’s direct tax collections.

The tax amnesty bill (Vivad Se Vishwas) was passed by Parliament last month, allowing complete waiver of penalty and interest if the dues were cleared by June 30. The initial date for payment was March 31, but got deferred on account of the lockdown.

Mody said the government as well as the CBDT have undertaken a massive exercise to consider suggestions from every corner of the country to propose suitable amendments to the Act and clarify doubts by way of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on websites.

He said no scheme could be conceived with all the perfections, and neither did the amnesty plan. The government and the board are open to more suggestions and comments from every stakeholder for better implementation of the scheme in its letter and spirit.

In his presidential address, Justice P.P. Bhatt of ITAT said as an institution specialising in the adjudication of tax disputes, the tribunal expected all the stakeholders to consider availing the scheme which was intended to reduce pending litigations.

According to tax advocate Naryan Jain, “If the lockdown continues, there may be a situation that time (last date) may have to be extended further. All infrastructure and operations is closed at the moment. The success of the scheme will depend upon resuming normal business life after coronavirus problem is overcome.

“But the government’s intention is a welcome step as the government has indicated that they are welcome to suggestions,” he said.