The scheme provides for waiving interest and penalties if the principal amount involved in retrospective tax cases is paid.
New Delhi: Providing the companies like Vodafone and Cairn Energy one more month to accept its offer to pay retro tax disputes, the government has prolonged till January 31 its one-time tax dispute resolution scheme.
The Direct Tax Dispute Resolution Scheme, proclaimed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the budget for 2016-17, look for not just to settle disputes in retrospective taxes, but end nearly 2.6 lakh pending tax cases where Rs 5.16 lakh crore are locked in.
The offer to settle the clashes was to end on December 31, but it has now been extended till January 31, stated the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). On May 26, the government had informed the scheme stating it would open on June 1 and close on December 31.
“In the stated notification, the figures, letters and words December 31, 2016, the data, letters and words January 31, 2017, shall be exchanged,” CBDT stated in a notification.
The scheme provides for waiving interest and consequences if the principal amount elegant in retrospective tax cases is paid. For disputes other than the retrospective tax cases, taxpayers, whose appeal is pending as on 29 February, 2016 before the CIT (Appeals), can settle down cases by paying the disputed tax and interest up to the date of assessment.
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For a disputed tax amount of up to Rs 10 lakh, the penalty will be unavoidable. In cases where the unclear tax amount is above Rs 10 lakh, a penalty of 25 per cent will be imposed. For penalty appeals, the scheme allows the assesse to pay only 25 per cent of the penalty.
Through the scheme, the government hopes to settle major backdated tax cases facing Vodafone Group and Cairn Energy of UK. It also expects a 3rd of the other tax disputes to be settled.
The notification comes against the backdrop of tepid response from companies to the scheme. So far, none of the companies facing the retrospective tax cases have come forward.
The scheme provided for waiver of the concern and penalty for retro tax cases only if the company in question withdraws all appeals against the government at all judicial forums.
The tax department had last week come out with the 2nd FAQ on the scheme advisory that the taxes cannot be paid in instalments.
It had also stated companies like Vodafone and Cairn Energy facing retrospective tax demand will have to withdraw legal cases and give away the right to contest constitutional validity of back-dated amendment to I-T laws if they want to benefit of the dispute resolution scheme.
“It is, hence, clear that if the assesse avails (of) the scheme, he cannot contest the constitutional validity of retrospective amendment in the high court or the Supreme Court,” the CBDT’s FAQs stated.
An organization availing of the scheme will have to pay the principal tax amount within 30 days to the selected authority defining the amount payable by the declarant.