The task force has been asked to draft the Direct Tax Code, one of whose aims is to reduce the number of tax cases.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The task force has been asked to draft the Direct Tax Code, one of whose aims is to reduce the number of tax cases.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Government plans one-time amnesty scheme for old income tax cases

Experts said that if this happens, it will reduce the volume of tax litigations significantly, and also help taxpayers spend their time and effort on more productive matters, but added a caveat that its success will depend on the actual details of the amnesty.
By Rajeev Jayaswal | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 16, 2019 09:31 AM IST

A government task force could recommend a one-time amnesty to resolve legacy income-tax disputes worth at least Rs 8 lakh crore, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named.

Experts said that if this happens, it will reduce the volume of tax litigations significantly, and also help taxpayers spend their time and effort on more productive matters, but added a caveat that its success will depend on the actual details of the amnesty. For companies, they added, it would also make it easier to do business in India.

“Litigation of this nature, especially in case of cross-border tax issues and transfer pricing, makes it difficult for companies to do business in India. Bringing about a scheme to resolve such long pending litigation would be very welcome. Taxpayers would unlock so much of their time, energy and resources to focus on their businesses and the intricacies of solving them rather than resolving repeated tax issues,” said Daksha Baxi, head – international taxation, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.

But “till the scheme is out, it is difficult to say how effective it would be in resolving long-drawn litigations which have been stuck for many years, some for more than 12 years,” she added.

The task force has been asked to draft the Direct Tax Code, one of whose aims is to reduce the number of tax cases.

The contours of the scheme could not be ascertained immediately, but it is likely to be a one-time amnesty window of three-four months as was proposed in the case of indirect taxes in the Union Budget presented earlier this month. The July 5 budget announced the “Sabka Vishwas” legacy dispute resolution scheme for litigation related to excise and service tax, but remained silent on the issue of direct tax disputes because the matter was being examined by the task force.

 

The government last month expanded the terms of reference of the task force set up in November 2017 to include, among other new objectives, the reduction in number and speedy resolution of tax cases. The task force is set to submit the draft by July 31, said a government official who asked not to be named.

According to data compiled by Dhruva Advisors in its research paper, ‘Tax Dispute Resolution in India: Trends and Insights’, there are 465,349 such cases pending at various tribunals and courts. At the Income Tax Commissioner (Appeals) [ICT-A] level alone, the amount involved is Rs 6,38,000 crore as on March 31, 2018; another Rs 4,96,000 crore is involved in cases at other forums such as the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, high courts and the Supreme Court. While giving a written reply in the Lok Sabha on July 22, 2016, the then minister of state for finance, Santosh Kumar Gangwar, said that as on March 31, 2016, the total amount stuck in direct tax litigations was Rs 8,20,741 crore.

Experts are hoping the amnesty scheme is similar to Sabka Vishwas. “A litigation resolution scheme [for direct taxes] that was introduced three years back could not be successful because it demanded full payment of disputed tax, with full interest, and it only reduced penalty amount. It was something like I win and you lose,” said Nikhil Rohera, partner-corporate and international tax, PwC.

Statistics show that 70% of such litigations are in favour of taxpayers, and therefore a liberal scheme modelled similarly to Sabka Vishwas may work, he added.

The amnesty scheme announced for indirect taxes waives both interest and penalty amounts and also reduces the disputed tax amount significantly, Rohera said.

Last July, the government asked the direct tax authority to minimise tax litigations by increasing the threshold monetary limits for filing departmental appeals at various levels. As per the directive, tax authorities were asked not to pursue appeals for cases up to Rs 20 lakh at the ITAT level. Earlier, this threshold was Rs 10 lakh. Similarly, the minimum threshold for cases going to high courts was raised to Rs 50 lakh from Rs 20 lakh and for those going to the apex court to Rs 1 crore (from Rs 25 lakh).

After the indirect tax reform in the form of Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Narendra Modi government plans to introduce transformational changes in the direct tax regime by making it easier for honest individuals and corporate entities to comply with tax laws, the government official cited above said.

Initially, the task force was headed by Arbind Modi as the member (legislation) at Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). After he retired, his successor Akhilesh Ranjan was made the head of the task force.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Mehul Choksi siphoned off close to <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>7,080 crore in the <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>13,578 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud before fleeing to Antigua on January 4, 2018, a month before the mega-scam came to notice.(HT Photo)
Mehul Choksi siphoned off close to 7,080 crore in the 13,578 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud before fleeing to Antigua on January 4, 2018, a month before the mega-scam came to notice.(HT Photo)

Antigua revokes citizenship of Mehul Choksi

By Neeraj Chauhan, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 12:57 AM IST
The development was confirmed to HT by at least two officers in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED), who added that the fugitive businessman is currently fighting revocation of his citizenship in an Antiguan civil court.
Close
The new rules that will cover over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix and Hotstar, social media intermediaries such as Facebook and Twitter, and digital news media, were notified by the government on Thursday.
The new rules that will cover over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix and Hotstar, social media intermediaries such as Facebook and Twitter, and digital news media, were notified by the government on Thursday.

New rules make way for self-regulation: I&B ministry secretary

By Deeksha Bhardwaj, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 12:31 AM IST
“There will be no authoritarian process,” information and broadcasting ministry secretary Amit Khare told Hindustan Times. “The regulation system is accountable to the courts. Any misuse of power can be checked.”
Close
After the elephant attacked and killed the man, it moved southwards leaving behind the 2-year-old calf, which is still in the village. (FOREST DEPT).
After the elephant attacked and killed the man, it moved southwards leaving behind the 2-year-old calf, which is still in the village. (FOREST DEPT).

Chhattisgarh man trampled to death while trying to take selfie with an elephant

PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 12:20 AM IST
  • The kin of the deceased have been given an instant relief amount of 25,000 and the body has been sent for post-mortem.
Close
People above 65 years of age, those with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below 10 years of age should take necessary precautions, the government advised. In picture - people near the Marina beach in Chennai.(ANI)
People above 65 years of age, those with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below 10 years of age should take necessary precautions, the government advised. In picture - people near the Marina beach in Chennai.(ANI)

Tamil Nadu extends Covid-19 lockdown till March 31

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Srivatsan K C, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 11:36 PM IST
The state government, in its new order on Sunday, said that the lockdown is being extended to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus effectively and also asked all district administrations to enforce strict Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.
Close
Amravati is under lockdown as Covid-19 cases witnessed a sudden uptick. (ANI)
Amravati is under lockdown as Covid-19 cases witnessed a sudden uptick. (ANI)

Feb spike of Covid-19 in several states: What we know about mutants, variants

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 11:04 PM IST
Mutations eventually accumulate to generate variants that differ from the original virus more and more.
Close
Teachers cited stress nearly twice as often as insufficient pay as a reason for quitting. (Praful Gangurde/HT Photo)
Teachers cited stress nearly twice as often as insufficient pay as a reason for quitting. (Praful Gangurde/HT Photo)

Stress key reason for teachers to quit job before, during pandemic: Study

ANI, Washington
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 10:08 PM IST
Most former teachers went on to take jobs with less or equal pay, with 3 in 10 taking jobs with no health insurance or retirement benefits.
Close
Health ministry on Sunday released a detailed guideline on how to self-register for vaccine on Co-Win app.
Health ministry on Sunday released a detailed guideline on how to self-register for vaccine on Co-Win app.

How to register on Co-Win: Ministry releases step-by-step guideline

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 11:17 PM IST
Booking once made on Co-Win app can be rescheduled to even a vaccination centre of another city, in case people have to travel between the two doses of vaccination
Close
File photo: National Conference president and former J-K PM Farooq Abdullah. (HT Photo)
File photo: National Conference president and former J-K PM Farooq Abdullah. (HT Photo)

'Congress must unite to defeat ‘divisive’ forces': Farooq Abdullah

UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 09:59 PM IST
  • “I want the Congress party to be strong. I want the Congress to unite and fight the divisive forces," he said.
Close
Union Minister for Health &amp; Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan.(ANI)
Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan.(ANI)

Health Minister lauds contributions of medical professionals in pandemic

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 09:58 PM IST
He made these remarks at the Global Indian Physicians Congress, organised by the Global Association for Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPIO), through video conference, the ministry said in a statement.
Close
The average voting percentage across all these local bodies together was around 60.26 per cent, it said.(HT Photo )
The average voting percentage across all these local bodies together was around 60.26 per cent, it said.(HT Photo )

Over 60% voter turnout recorded in Gujarat local body polls

PTI, Ahmedabad
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 09:24 PM IST
As per the provisional figures, voter turnout of 54.95 per cent across 81 municipalities, 62.41 per cent in 31 district panchayats, and 63.42 per cent in 231 taluka panchayat, was recorded, the State Election Commission (SEC) said.
Close
A farmer sleeps inside a mosquito net during a protest against the new farm laws, at the Singhu border in New Delhi on Sunday. (ANI Photo)
A farmer sleeps inside a mosquito net during a protest against the new farm laws, at the Singhu border in New Delhi on Sunday. (ANI Photo)

Delhi sees 2nd highest mean maximum temperature for Feb since 1901

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 09:09 PM IST
The highest mean maximum temperature recorded for February in Delhi was 29.7 degrees Celsius in 2006, the IMD officials said.
Close
Congress leader Rashid Alvi said that his party will have work round the clock and formulate a strategy in the upcoming polls to fight BJP.(File photo)
Congress leader Rashid Alvi said that his party will have work round the clock and formulate a strategy in the upcoming polls to fight BJP.(File photo)

Appreciating BJP's work ethics, Rashid Alvi says Congress must work 24/7

ANI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 08:59 PM IST
Alvi also commented on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's regret that he could not learn Tamil Nadu, during his monthly radio programme Maan Ki Baat.
Close
A health worker during a dry run for the administration of Covid-19 vaccine.(ANI/ File photo)
A health worker during a dry run for the administration of Covid-19 vaccine.(ANI/ File photo)

News updates from HT: Dry run at 4 govt-run hospitals in Pune tomorrow

PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 08:56 PM IST
Here are today’s top news, analysis and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.
Close
Congress flags waves at rallies
Congress flags waves at rallies

Congress faces uphill battle in poll-bound states

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 08:40 PM IST
Barring Kerala, where the party feels it is poised to defeat the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), the Congress is beset with ally troubles in all other poll-bound states-- Assam, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu -- and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
Close
A health worker wearing a PPE kit collects a swab sample of an old lady for the Covid-19 test at Dadar railway station. (ANI Photo)
A health worker wearing a PPE kit collects a swab sample of an old lady for the Covid-19 test at Dadar railway station. (ANI Photo)

8,293 new cases in Maharashtra as Covid-19 spike continues amid lockdown, curbs

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 09:18 PM IST
There are 12 active containment zones in Mumbai and 133 buildings have been sealed, according to data released by the Bhrihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP