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National News

Mar 13, 2020

Parliament passes Vivad Se Vishwas Bill for settlement of Direct Tax disputes

Parliament has passed the Vivad Se Vishwas Bill, 2020 today. The bill provides a waiver on interest, penalty and prosecution for settlement of Direct Tax disputes. It grants a complete waiver on interest and penalty when the disputed amount is paid before 31st of this month, and provisions an additional 10 percent of the disputed amount in cases where the settlement is made by 30th June of this year.

Rajya Sabha approved the motion to return the bill to the Lok sabha. The lower house had already passed the bill earlier

Replying to the discussion, Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharam said, all steps will be taken by the government to reduce the tax litigation on a priority basis. She assured that the discretion of tax authorities will be reduced by faceless assessment driven by technology. Tax-related disputes in the country amounting to over 9 lakh crore rupees is pending against over 4 lakh litigations in various appellate forums. Ms. Sitharaman assured that the provisions of this bill provide absolute immunity for prosecutions under the Income Tax Act to the appellant once the dispute is resolved. She, however, clarified that it only governs disputes related to Direct Tax and not litigations related to wealth tax. Addressing the query of a parliamentarian, the minister said, cases above five crore rupees are excluded under the ambit of this bill to avoid alleged tax evaders take undue benefit of these provisions.

Earlier, moving the Bill, Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman said, this bill has been brought up with the objective to settle the tax dispute in an efficient manner.

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