Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said that the government is in the process of setting up 8 more income tax overseas units, including in the US and Britain, to facilitate exchange of tax related information.
At present, the government has one such unit (ITOUs) each at the Indian mission in Singapore and Mauritius.
"Eight more such units in the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Japan, Cyprus, Germany, France and the UAE are also being created on similar lines," Mukherjee said at the annual conference of the Chief Commissioners and Directors General of Income Tax.
The minister noted that globalisation has thrown up new and complex challenges such as the development of tax shelter products and use of tax havens.
"I am hopeful that these measures would result in seamless flow of tax related information from foreign tax jurisdictions and would strengthen our fight against the menace of tax evasion using cross border transactions," he said.
Mukherjee expressed concern over the increase in the number of litigation with taxpayers and the revenue locked in appeals.
He hoped that strengthening of the Settlement Commission and setting up a Dispute Resolution Panel may help to some extent.
"I am told that under the mutual agreement procedure (MAP) negotiations under the Indo-US DTAA, a tax demand of Rs 800 crore in 48 cases has been confirmed," he said, adding that it was a good development.
Tax payers should be encouraged to invoke MAP as it has emerged as a preferred alternate dispute resolution mechanism, he said.
However, the minister asked the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to develop more strategies to reduce the litigation with the taxpayers and also to realise locked up revenue in appeals.