Companies will get up to 70 per cent duty relief if they settle their pre-GST disputes with the tax authorities, according to a scheme, which will become operational from next month and run till the end of 2019.
There will also be an amnesty scheme. Under this, the assessee will have to voluntarily disclose the due taxes. The assessee will have to pay the full amount, but they will not face any legal action.
Sabka Vishwas (Legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme), 2019, was announced in the Budget. For any case pending in adjudication or appeal at any forum, this scheme offers a relief of 70 per cent from the duty demand if it is up to Rs 50 lakh and 50 per cent if it is over Rs 50 lakh.
The same relief is available for cases under investigation and audit, where the duty involved is quantified and communicated to the party or admitted by them in a statement on or before June 30, 2019.
In cases of confirmed duty demand, where there is no appeal pending, the relief offered is 60 per cent if the duty is up to Rs 50 lakh and 40 per cent if the duty is over Rs 50 lakh.
The scheme’s objective is to free as many taxpayers as possible from legacy taxes, the finance ministry said in a statement. The scheme is especially tailored to free small taxpayers from their pending disputes, the statement said.
"The government urges taxpayers and all concerned to avail themselves of this scheme and make a new beginning," the statement said.
Abhishek Jain, tax partner at EY, said while various players in the industry had already started evaluating the option of seeking benefit under the scheme, companies should now quickly take decisions so that applications could be filed soon after September 1.