Context: The vivad se vishwas scheme was announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during her budget speech on February 1, 2020. The scheme aims to settle the huge number of pending direct tax cases. The CBDT will hold a nationwide review of cases pending at the ITAT and high courts level on Wednesday as part of a proposed scheme announced in the budget to settle disputed tax cases between the I-T Department and taxpayer, officials said.
Meanwhile, the Union Cabinet also approved changes in the ‘Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill, 2020′ on Wednesday with a view to increasing its scope to cover litigations pending in various debt recovery tribunals (DRTs).
The officials said a video conference-based interaction will be undertaken by the CBDT member in-charge with all regional chiefs of the department in the country.
The agenda, they said, is to review data on the pendency of high courts and Income Tax Appellate Tribunals (ITATs) appeals for the ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ (from dispute to trust) scheme.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had proposed this direct tax dispute resolution scheme, which provides an opportunity to taxpayers to pay outstanding taxes and get a waiver of interest and penalty, in her Union Budget speech on February 1.
The scheme aims to settle and see a finalisation of 4.83 lakh direct tax cases, with revenue worth Rs 9.32 lakh crore locked up in them, pending at various appellate forums such as the Commissioner (Appeals), ITAT, high courts and the Supreme Court.
Under the proposed scheme, taxpayers willing to settle disputes shall be allowed a complete waiver of interest and penalty if they pay the entire amount of tax in dispute by March 31 this year, following which a 10 per cent additional disputed tax shall have to be paid over and above the tax liability.
Further, where the tax arrears relate to disputed interest or penalty only, then 25 per cent of disputed penalty or interest shall have to be paid only, if the payment is made by March 31 beyond which the same shall be enhanced to 30 per cent.
The scheme aims to resolve 483,000 direct tax-related disputes pending in various appellate forums.