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Income Declaration Scheme: Pay tax on time to get relief, CBDT says
September, 20th 2016

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said assessees taking advantage of the Direct Tax Dispute Resolution Scheme, 2016, will be required to pay the taxes within the stipulated period to avail the relief under the scheme.

"The tax payable under the scheme should be paid to the credit of the government on or before the due date as specified in the scheme. The assessees are advised to pay the tax well on time so as to avail the relief under the scheme," Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said in an FAQ.

The scheme, announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget, provides an opportunity to taxpayers who are under litigation to come forward and settle the dispute.

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The CBDT clarified that declaration cannot be filed under the scheme, in case where the appeal was pending before CIT (Appeals) as on February 29, 2016 and the CIT (Appeals) has already disposed of the same before making the declaration, the declaration under the Scheme cannot be filed.

It further said "in a case where the declaration has been made under the scheme or an intention to avail the scheme has been made by the appellant, the CIT (Appeals) shall not dispose the pending appeal."

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As per the scheme, in a case where disputed tax in quantum appeal is more than Rs 10 lakh, the declarant has to pay the disputed tax, interest and 25 % of minimum penalty leviable.

Further, in a case where the disputed tax in quantum appeal does not exceed Rs 10 lakh, the declarant is required to pay only the disputed tax and interest and there is no requirement for payment of any amount in respect of penalty leviable.

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According to FAQ, a case where notice of enhancement has been received by the declarant before the date of commencement of the scheme June 1, 2016 shall not be eligible for the scheme.

It further said the assessees are advised to make declarations in cases or for assessment years where the additions are made on substantive basis.

"The protective demand is not subjected to recovery unless it is finally upheld. Once the declaration in a substantive case or year is accepted, the tax arrear in protective case/year would no longer be valid and will be rectified by suitable orders in the normal course," the CBDT said.

Clarifying a query, whether by filing declaration under the scheme for one assessment year, does the taxpayer forgo his right of appeal on the same issue in another assessment year, the CBDT replied in negative.

"The order under the scheme does not decide any judicial issue. It only determines the sum payable under the scheme with reference to tax arrear or specified tax, as the case may be. It only provides for a dispute resolution mechanism in respect of cases for which declaration has been made," CBDT said.

The Direct Tax Dispute Resolution Scheme, introduced on June 1, seeks to address the issue of pending litigation before Commissioner of I-T (Appeal). The scheme is open till December 31.

As per I-T department data, there were 73,402 appeals with tax effect above Rs 10 lakh and 1,85,858 appeals with tax effect below Rs 10 lakh which are pending before CIT (Appeal) as on February 29. Thus, 2,59,260 appellants are eligible for the benefit of this scheme.

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