The income tax department is set to further hike monetary threshold to file appeals in appellate tribunals, high courts and Supreme Court after a push from the prime minister's office to cut pending litigation.
The pending cases in the Income tax appellate tribunal (ITAT), HC and SC add to the exchequer's cost. Besides, only about 10% of cases at SC and HC level are decided in favour of the department, and 30% at the ITAT level.
"The litigation cases has come down iver the last two years and we are in process of cutting that down further. The monetary thresholds for filing appeals will be further hiked," said a senior income tax department official.
He added that the board will take a decision on that within a month.
In fact, just two years ago, the Central Board of Direct Taxes had hiked the monetary limits for filing appeals to Rs 1 million , Rs 2 million and Rs 2.5 million for ITAT, HC and SC respectively.
As per the latest data, 6,500 cases are pending in the Supreme Court, about 38000 cases in high courts and 94,000 cases in ITAT, some even a decade old.
The tax department after hiking the monetary limit two years ago withdrew 17000 cases from ITAT, high courts and Supreme Court.
Similarly, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) followed and decided not to file appeals below the threshold limit of Rs 1 mn, Rs 2 mn and Rs 2.5 mn in CESTAT (Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal), High Courts and Supreme Court, respectively.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last year at the Rajasva Gyan Sangam had called for early resolution of the huge pendency of tax cases in adjudication and appeal. He had said that big sums of money that is locked up in these cases, could have been used for the welfare of the poor.