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Now, pay 20% of disputed amount to get stay on I-T dept demand

Tax department's move to raise payment for appeals to cause hardship for taxpayers, say experts

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

Income tax returns

Those planning to appeal against the demand raised by the income tax (I-T) department will now get a stay only if they shell out 20 per cent of the disputed amount. Earlier, a party seeking stay would have had to pay 15 per cent of the disputed amount. 

In a modification to its earlier office memorandum, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said that the payment percentage was being revised from 15 per cent to 20 per cent of the disputed amount.

Earlier, the instructions directed the assessing officer to grant a stay of demand till the disposal of the appeal by the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) on payment of 15 per cent of the disputed amount. 

Amit Maheshwari, of Ashok Maheshwary & Associates, says that taxpayers in dispute will have to shell out 33 per cent more for the filing of appeals going forward. 

For instance, if Rs 100 crore was to be given earlier, Rs 133 crore would have to be submitted as payment now. 

"This would discourage frivolous appeal, but this would cause hardships to big tax payers," he says. 

Deloitte's Neeru Ahuja says it is a hardship for the tax payer as he needs to pay more cash upfront. However, Ahuja says that if he is an aggrieved tax payer, he will go for appeal in any case. 

"It seems more like a revenue collection measure than anything else," she says.  

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