The penalty and interest often amount to twice as much as the original tax demand.
The government on Monday said that 35,074 direct tax-related disputes have been resolved under the Vivad se Vishwas scheme as on September 8. This is even as nearly 6 lakh such cases are pending in different forums, including commissioner of appeals, tribunals, high courts and the Supreme Court.
The dispute resolution scheme meant for direct taxes was passed as an Act earlier this year but the deadline for the scheme to avail concessional settlement provision has since been extended to December 31 due to Covid-19. A tax official said that a large number of cases would come under the scheme closer to the deadline.
The government is hoping that a substantial portion of over Rs 10 lakh crore in revenue stuck in these cases can be unlocked through the scheme as it offers exemption from payment of penalty and interest on the disputed tax amount. The penalty and interest often amount to twice as much as the original tax demand.
In case the appeal is filed by the department, the taxpayers choosing to settle dispute and make payment before December 31 will only have to pay half the disputed amount while penalty and interest would be waived off. However, if the case is related to dispute of penalty and interest then only 12.5% of the amount is payable.
If a taxpayer makes the payment after the deadline, the scheme will still be operational but its terms would be less attractive. For instance, taxpayers will pay 55% of the disputed amount even though penalty an interest would still be waived off. If dispute pertains to penalty and interest itself then payment for settlement is pegged at 15%.
The terms of the scheme change for appeals that are filed by taxpayers and also for cases involving search and seizure. Some cases have been excluded from the scheme. For instance, search cases where disputed tax is more than `5 crore, prosecution cases under the Income tax Act or IPC filed by the department, cases relating to undisclosed foreign income and assets, and cases completed on the basis of information from foreign countries, among others.