Lok Sabha passes Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill, 2020; tax amnesty to disputants

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The Lok Sabha on Wednesday approved the Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill, 2020 that seeks to provide a lucrative opportunity to tax payers to settle direct tax disputes within the current financial year.

The Bill approved by the Lok Sabha has the following features:

1. In cases where the Income Tax authorities have filed an appeal, the tax payer will have to pay only half of the disputed amount.

2. In cases where the tax payer has filed an appeal, the entire disputed amount has to be paid before March 31, 2020 and an additional 25% of the amount in case of searches. However, incase the dispute involves penalty and interest related amount, only 25% of it will have to be paid.

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3. However, in the above case, after March 31, the tax payer will have to pay 10% more of the disputed amount, 35% in case of searches and 30% of the penalty and interest related amounts.

4. In matters involving appeal filed by the IT Department or in a case which they have lost, the tax payers will have to pay 55% of the disputed amount before March 31 and 55 % of the amount after March 31st. In the cases of searches, it is 12.5% of the amount both within and after March 31st and finally in cases of amounts involving interest payments and penalties, it will be 12.5 % in case the payment is made before March 31 and 15% after this date.

5. In another feature, tax payers can claim refunds in cases.

6. This in no way is a matter of settlement and no side can claim it as a settlement in any other proceeding.

The bill introduced in the Budget session of the Parliament hopes to settle tax disputes worth 9.32 lakh crores in over 4.8 lakh cases.

In accordance with the Constitutional procedure, the Bill will now be transmitted to the Rajya Sabha for its consideration and passage.

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