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Govt extends last date for availing direct tax dispute resolution scheme till December 31

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The government has extended the last date for availing the direct tax dispute resolution scheme till December 31, 2020, the finance ministry notified on Tuesday.

Taxpayers willing to settle their tax disputes under the Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Act can file their declarations till December 31, and will be mandated to pay the settled tax amount by March 31, 2021, with a complete waiver of interest and penalty. After April 1, 2021, a 10% higher amount will have to be paid.

Further, where arrears relate to disputed interest or penalty only, then 25% of the amount is to be paid by March 31, 2021 and 30% after April 1, 2021.

The extension has been provided “in order to provide further relief to the taxpayers desirous of settling disputes under the scheme,” the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said.

Finance secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey has asked tax officials to expedite the Scheme which, he said, is highly beneficial to the taxpayers, after reviewing the progress made so far by the income tax department on the scheme in a high level meeting on Tuesday.

“We need to advance the Vivad se Vishwas Scheme with greater persuasion and perseverance and must reach out to the taxpayers to facilitate all necessary handholding,” he said.

In the meeting, suggestions and comments of the field officers were also discussed regarding the action plan for successful implementation of the Scheme in a time bound manner.

The scheme provides instant disposal of the dispute with no further cost of litigation besides monetary benefits in the form of waiver of penalty, interest and prosecution.

CBDT chairman PC Mody mentioned the importance of cleaning up of demand for facilitating and persuading the taxpayers for filing declarations under the scheme.

He emphasized on principal chief commissioners of income tax to carry out all possible actions such as disposing pending rectifications, giving pending appeal effects, removing duplicate demands, etc. so as to arrive at a final demand for each assessee so that whenever a taxpayer files Form 1 or 2 under the Vivad se Vishwas Scheme, the principal chief commissioners of income tax concerned is in a position to issue Form 3 promptly.

The progress of the scheme will now be reviewed every fortnight.

Over 35,074 taxpayers have opted for the Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas Act since its enactment till September 8, 2020, minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur said in a written response to Rajya Sabha recently.

“The revenue generated till date through the Act is Rs 9,538 crore. This figure does not include the payments made by the taxpayers who are yet to file their declarations under the Scheme,” he said.

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