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Home / Business News / Over 48K entities declared Rs1.32 lakh crore under ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ tax amnesty scheme

Over 48K entities declared Rs1.32 lakh crore under ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ tax amnesty scheme

As on November 17, the government has already received Rs72,480 crore from these entities as settlement proceeds, and the amount is expected to go up significantly before the extended deadline of December 31

business Updated: Nov 20, 2020, 08:19 IST
Rajeev Jayaswal
Rajeev Jayaswal
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
In the Union budget presented on February 1, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the scheme that aimed to resolve legacy disputes involving direct taxes.
In the Union budget presented on February 1, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the scheme that aimed to resolve legacy disputes involving direct taxes.(Representational Image)

More than 48,600 income-tax payers, including public sector firms have opted for the government’s tax amnesty scheme ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ involving a combined settlement amount of over Rs1.32 lakh crore, a finance ministry official said.

As on November 17, the government has already received Rs72,480 crore from these entities as settlement proceeds, and the amount is expected to go up significantly before the extended deadline of December 31, 2020, the official said requesting anonymity.

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In the Union budget presented on February 1, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the scheme that aimed to resolve legacy disputes involving direct taxes. Under the scheme, penalty and interest would be waived if the disputed amount is paid before March 31, 2020. Later, the deadline was extended. More than 483,000 legacy disputes are stuck in various tribunals involving direct taxes amounting to Rs9.32 lakh crore.

“In view of hardship being faced by taxpayers due to the pandemic situation of Covid-19, the deadline for filing of declarations under the scheme has been extended to December 31, 2020, and the deadline for payment without paying any interest and penalty has been extended to March 31, 2021,” the official said.

Once the entities opt for the scheme and make declaration, all appeals – both by taxpayer and by department – are withdrawn, he said. The finance ministry on Tuesday reviewed the progress of the scheme.

It was decided to adopt a proactive approach for implementation of the scheme by regular monitoring of the cases where taxpayers have filed declarations, the official said.

The ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ scheme was launched for taxpayers on March 17, 2020, after approval of the Parliament with the objective of reducing litigation, he said. The scheme provides for settlement of disputed tax, disputed interest, disputed penalty or disputed fees in relation to an assessment or reassessment order on payment of 100% of the disputed tax and 25% of the disputed penalty or interest or fee.

“The taxpayer is granted immunity from levy of interest, penalty and institution of any proceeding for prosecution for any offence under the Income-Tax Act in respect of matters covered in the declaration,” he said.

In her budget speech in Parliament this year, Sitharaman had said, “This year, I propose to bring a scheme similar to the indirect tax scheme ‘Sabka Vishwas’ for reducing litigations even in the direct taxes.” Presenting her first budget on July 5 last year, Sitharaman had proposed the ‘Sabka Vishwas’ legacy dispute resolution scheme for litigations related to excise and service tax. The scheme was implemented to reduce litigation in indirect taxes and it resulted in settling at least 189,000 cases.

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