Lok Sabha passes Direct Tax ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ bill

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New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) In a move that will help the government mop up revenue before the financial year 2019-20 closes, Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed direct tax amnesty scheme Vivad se Vishwas bill.
With mounting tax disputes, the government has had in Union budget come up with No Dispute but Trust Scheme (Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme) to settle the direct tax disputes.
The Revenue department has said that there are 4,83,000 direct tax cases pending in various appellate forums such as Commissioner (Appeals), ITAT, High Court and Supreme Court. As much as Rs 9.5 lakh crore is locked in disputes.
Under the proposed amnesty scheme, a taxpayer would be required to pay only the amount of the disputed taxes and will get complete waiver of interest and penalty provided he pays the amount 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.
Industry has welcomed the scheme and tax experts have said that entities are keen to settle old tax disputes where a lot of interest has accumulated.
The Revenue department has asked field officers to go whole hog to make the scheme successful by approaching the individuals or entities and persuading them to opt for the scheme.
Seeking to widen the scope of the scheme, the Cabinet had last month approved widening the scope of the scheme to cover most of the disputes including those in arbitration.