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Big relief on the way: 'Vivad Se Vishwas' Bill introduced by FM in LS

Big relief on the way:

By : Kaushik Subramanian

  |  6 Feb 2020 8:01 AM GMT

The Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill, 2020 was introduced by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. Putting to effect the announcement made in the budget speech, it seeks to resolve direct tax disputes involving an aggregate Rs 9.32 trillion as on November 30, 2019.

The provisions of
the bill offers waiver of penalty, interest and prosecution in the settlement
of tax disputes.

Those disputes
pending under the commissioner (appeals), Income Tax Appellate Tribunals
(ITATs), high courts or the Supreme Court as on January 31, 2020 will be

Under the scheme, the taxpayers whose liabilities are caught in dispute are allowed to pay their taxes by March 31, 2020 and avail themselves of a complete waiver of interest and penalty. Those who opt for the scheme after March 31 will have to pay and addition 10% of the disputed amount. The scheme will apply to cases irrespective of whether demand in such cases is pending or has been paid.

In her speech, the
Finance Minister said that the Bill emphasises on trust building and will
reduce the needless litigation expenditure for the government and taxpayers.

The Modi
government has been taking proactive measure to cut down on litigation where
the government is the litigant.

The Finance Minister also added that
the this structured and
formula-based approach will help the taxpayer get relief without any discretion
and the government to get the money”.

Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury objected to the bill saying it violates the parliamentary tradition by using both English and Hindi in the title of the bill. He also said that the bill will hurt tax collection efforts. Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor opposed the bill on the grounds that the bill places an honest tax payer and dishonest tax payer at the same level and violates the principle of equality.

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