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CBDT to base taxmen's appraisal on their 'Vivad se Vishwas' performance

FM Nirmala Sitharaman had proposed this direct tax dispute resolution scheme in her budget speech on February 1


Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Union Cabinet had also approved changes in the Vivad se Vishwas Bill, 2020 on Wednesday

Performance in implementing the 'Vivad se Vishwas' scheme, announced in the recent budget to settle disputed cases between the Income Tax Department and taxpayers, will be reflected in the annual appraisal of tax officers and also decide their future postings, the has said.

The board, which frames policy for the tax department, said considering the importance being attached by the government to the scheme "it is imperative that the field formations make efforts in the right earnest for its success".

In a directive issued on February 13, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said all field officers, from assessing officers to the topmost principal chief commissioners of the I-T, may give details of their performance in respect of the scheme in their self-appraisal (under the annual performance appraisal report) for 2019-20 financial year.

Details of the number of disputed cases, amount involved in disputed cases as well as the number of cases resolved and the amount collected under the scheme may be reported in the self-appraisal, it said.

"The performance of officers in respect of the scheme will be specifically commented upon by the reporting and the reviewing officers and shall be an important factor in determining their future postings," the communication sent to all the regional direct I-T chiefs said.

Senior officials of the Union Finance Ministry and the early this week held a nationwide review of the proposed scheme and the ways to roll it out with a mega outreach programme and facilitation measures to be undertaken for taxpayers opting for the scheme.

The Union Cabinet had also approved changes in the Vivad se Vishwas Bill, 2020 on Wednesday with a view to enlarge its scope to cover litigations pending in various debt recovery tribunals (DRTs).

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had proposed this direct tax dispute resolution scheme, which provides an opportunity to the taxpayers to pay their outstanding taxes and get a waiver of interest and penalty, in her budget speech on February 1.

The scheme aims to settle and see the finalisation of 4.83 lakh direct tax cases with a revenue worth Rs 9.32 lakh crore locked up in them, pending at various appellate forums such as the commissioner (appeals), ITATs, high courts and the Supreme Court.

Under the proposed scheme, the taxpayers willing to settle disputes shall be allowed a complete waiver of interest and penalty if they pay the entire amount of tax in dispute by March 31 this year, following which a 10 per cent additional disputed tax shall have to be paid over and above the tax liability.

Further, where the tax arrears relate to disputed interest or penalty, only 25 per cent of the disputed penalty or interest shall have to be paid if the payment is made by March 31, beyond which the same shall be enhanced to 30 per cent.

The scheme would remain open till June 30.

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First Published: Fri, February 14 2020. 16:34 IST