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Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill, 2020

Feb 05, 2020

Bill No. 29 of 2020

THE DIRECT TAX VIVAD SE VISHWAS BILL, 2020

A

BILL

to provide for resolution of disputed tax and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Seventy-first Year of the Republic of India as follows:—

1. Short title.

This Act may be called the Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Act, 2020.

2. Definitions

(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—

(a)"appellant" means the person or the income-tax authority or both who has filed appeal before the appellate forum and such appeal is pending on the specified date;

(b)"appellate forum" means the Supreme Court or the High Court or the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal or the Commissioner (Appeals);

(c) "declarant" means a person who files declaration under section 4;

(d) "declaration" means the declaration filed under section 4;

(e) "designated authority" means an officer not below the rankof a Commissioner of Income-tax notified by the Principal Chief Commissioner for the purposes of this Act;

(f)"disputed fee" means the fee determined under the provisions of the Income-tax Act, 1961 in respect of which appeal has been filed by the appellant;

(g) "disputed income", in relation to an assessment year, means the whole or so much of the total income as is relatable to the disputed tax;

(h) "disputed interest" means the interest determined in any case under the provisions of the Income-tax Act, 1961, where—

(i) such interest is not charged or chargeable on disputed tax;

(ii) an appeal has been filed by the appellant in respect of such interest;

(i) "disputed penalty" means the penalty determined in any case under the provisions of the Income-tax Act, 1961, where-

(i) such penalty is not levied or leviable in respect of disputed income or disputed tax, as the case may be;

(ii) an appeal has been filed by the appellant in respect of such penalty;

( j)"disputed tax", in relation to an assessment year, means—

(i) tax determined under the Income-tax Act, 1961 in accordance with the following formula—

(A – B) + (C – D)where,

A = an amount of tax on the total income assessed as per the provisions of the Income-tax Act, 1961other than the provisions contained in section 115JB or section 115JC of the Income-tax Act, 1961(herein after called general provisions);

B = an amount of tax that would have been chargeable had the total income assessed as per the general provisions been reduced by the amount of income in respect of which appeal has been filed by the appellant;

C = an amount of tax on the total income assessed as per the provisions contained in section 115JB or section 115JC of the Income-tax Act, 1961;

D = an amount of tax that would have been chargeable had the total income assessed as per the provisions contained in section 115JB or section 115JC of the Income-tax Act, 1961 been reduced by the amount of income in respect of which appeal has been filed by the appellant:

Provided that where the amount of income in respect of which appeal has been filed by the appellant is considered under the provisions contained in section 115JB or section 115JC of the Income-tax Act, 1961 and under general provisions, such amount shall not be reduced from total income assessed while determining the amount under item D:

Provided further that in a case where the provisions contained in section 115JB or section 115JC of the Income-tax Act, 1961 are not applicable, the item (C – D) in the formula shall be ignored:

Provided also that in a case where the amount of income, in respect of which appeal has been filed by the appellant, has the effect of reducing the loss declared in the return or converting that loss into income, the amount of disputed tax shall be determined in accordance with the formula specified in sub-clause (i) with the modification that the amount to be determined for item (A - B) in that formula shall be the amount of tax that would have been chargeable on the income in respect of which appeal has been filed by the appellant had such income been the total income;

(ii) tax determined under the section 200A or section 201 or subsection (6A) of section 206C or section 206CB of the Income-tax Act, 1961 in respect of which appeal has been filed by the appellant.

(k) "Income-tax Act" means the Income-tax Act, 1961;

(l)"last date" means such date as may be notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette;

(m) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(n) "specified date" means the 31st day of January, 2020;

(o) "tax arrear" means,—

(i) the aggregate amount of disputed tax, interest chargeable or charged on such disputed tax, and penalty leviable or levied on such disputed tax; or

(ii) disputed interest; or

(iii) disputed penalty; or

(iv) disputed fee, as determined under the provisions of the Income-tax Act;

(2)The words and expressions used herein and not defined but defined in the Incometax Act shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in that Act.

Amount payable by declarant.

3. Subject to the provisions of this Act, where a declarant files under the provisions of this Act on or before the last date, a declaration to the designated authority in accordance with the provisions of section 4 in respect of tax arrear, then, notwithstanding anything contained in the Income-tax Act or any other law for the time being in force, the amount payable by the declarant under this Act shall be as under, namely:—

 

Sl. No

Nature of tax arrear

Amount payable under this Act on or before the 31st day of March, 2020.

Amount payable under this Act on or after the 1st day of April, 2020 but on or before the last date.

(a)

where the tax arrear is the aggregate amount of disputed tax, interest chargeable or charged on such disputed tax and penalty leviable or levied on such disputed tax.

amount of the disputed tax.

The aggregate of the amount of disputed tax and ten per cent. of disputed tax:

 

Provided that where the ten per  cent.of disputed tax exceeds  the aggregate amount of interest chargeable or charged on such disputed tax and penalty leviable or levied on such disputed tax, the excess shall be ignored for the purpose of computation of amount payable under this Act.

(b)

where the tax arrear relates to disputed interest or disputed penalty or disputed fee.

twenty-five per cent. of disputed interes or disputed penalty or disputed fee.

thirty per cent. of disputed interest or disputed penalty or disputed fee.

 

3. Filing of declaration and particulars to be furnished.

(1) The declaration referred to in section 3 shall be filed by the declarant before the designated authority in such form and verified in such manner as may be prescribed.

(2) Upon the filing the declaration, any appeal pending before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal or Commissioner (Appeals), in respect of the disputed income or disputed interest or disputed penalty or disputed fee and tax arrear shall be deemed to have been withdrawn from the date on which certificate under sub-section (1) of section 5 is issued by the designated authority.

(3) Where the declarant has filed any appeal before the appellate forum or any writ petition before the High Court or the Supreme Court against any order in respect of tax arrear, he shall withdraw such appeal or writ petition with the leave of the Court wherever required and furnish proof of such withdrawal alongwith the declaration referred to in sub-section (1).

(4) Where the declarant has initiated any proceeding for arbitration, conciliation or mediation, or has given any notice thereof under any law for the time being in force or under any agreement entered into by India with any other country or territory outside India whether for protection of investment or otherwise, he shall withdraw the claim, if any, in such proceedings or notice prior to making the declaration and furnish proof thereof alongwith the declaration referred to in sub-section (1).

(5) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-sections (2), (3) and (4), the declarant shall furnish an undertaking waiving his right, whether direct or indirect, to seek or pursue any remedy or any claim in relation to the tax arrear which may otherwise be available to him under any law for the time being in force, in equity, under statute or under any agreement entered into by India with any country or territory outside India whether for protection of investment or otherwise and the undertaking shall be made in such form and manner as may be prescribed.

(6) The declaration under sub-section (1) shall be presumed never to have been made if,—

(a) any material particular furnished in the declaration is found to be false at any stage;

(b) the declarant violates any of the conditions referred to in this Act;

(c) the declarant acts in any manner which is not in accordance with the undertaking given by him under sub-section (5), and in such cases, all the proceedings and claims which were withdrawn under section 4 and all the consequences under the Income-tax Act against the declarant shall be deemed to have been revived.

(7) No appellate forum or arbitrator, conciliator or mediator shall proceed to decide any issue relating to the tax arrear mentioned in the declaration in respect of which an order has been made under sub-section (1) of section 5 by the designated authority or the payment of sum determined under that section.

4. Time and manner of payment.

5. (1) The designated authority shall, within a period of fifteen days from the date of receipt of the declaration, by order, determine the amount payable by the declarant in accordance with the provisions of this Act and grant a certificate to the declarant containing particulars of the tax arrear and the amount payable after such determination, in such form as may be prescribed.

(2) The declarant shall pay the amount determined under sub-section (1) within fifteen days of the date of receipt of the certificate and intimate the details of such payment to the designated authority in the prescribed form and thereupon the designated authority shall pass an order stating that the declarant has paid the amount.

(3) Every order passed under sub-section (1), determining the amount payable under this Act, shall be conclusive as to the matters stated therein and no matter covered by such order shall be reopened in any other proceeding under the Income-tax Act or under any other law for the time being in force or under any agreement, whether for protection of investment or otherwise, entered into by India with any other country or territory outside India.

Immunity from initiation of proceedings in respect of offence and imposition of penalty in certain cases.

6. Subject to the provisions of section 5, the designated authority shall not institute any proceeding in respect of an offence; or impose or levy any penalty; or charge any interest under the Income-tax Act in respect of tax arrear.

5. No refund of amount paid.

7. Any amount paid in pursuance of a declaration made under section 4 shall not be refundable under any circumstances.

6. No benefit, concession or immunity to declarant.

8. Save as otherwise expressly provided in sub-section (3) of section 5 or section 6, nothing contained in this Act shall be construed as conferring any benefit, concession or immunity on the declarant in any proceedings other than those in relation to which the declaration has been made.

7. Act not to apply in certain cases.

9. The provisions of this Act shall not apply—

(a) in respect of tax arrear,—

(i) relating to an assessment year in respect of which an assessment has been made under section 153A or section 153C of the Income-tax Act, if it relates to any tax arrear;

(ii) relating to an assessment year in respect of which prosecution has been instituted on or before the date of filing of declaration;

(iii) relating to any undisclosed income from a source located outside India or undisclosed asset located outside India;

(iv) relating to an assessment or reassessment made on the basis of information received under an agreement referred to in section 90 or section 90A of the Income-tax Act, if it relates to any tax arrear;

(v) relating to an appeal before the Commissioner (Appeals) in respect of which notice of enhancement under section 251 of the Income-tax Act has been issued on or before the specified date;

(b) to any person in respect of whom an order of detention has been made under the provisions of the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974 on or before the filing of declaration:

Provided that—

(i) such order of detention, being an order to which the provisions of section 9 or section 12A of the said Act do not apply, has not been revoked on the report of the Advisory Board under section 8 of the said Act or before the receipt of the report of the Advisory Board; or

(ii) such order of detention, being an order to which the provisions of section 9 of the said Act apply, has not been revoked before the expiry of the time for, or on the basis of, the review under sub-section (3) of section 9, or on the report of the Advisory Board under section 8, read with sub-section (2) of section 9, of the said Act; or

(iii) such order of detention, being an order to which the provisions of section 12A of the said Act apply, has not been revoked before the expiry of the time for, or on the basis of, the first review under sub-section (3) of that section, or on the basis of the report of the Advisory Board under section 8, read with sub-section (6) of section 12A, of the said Act; or

(iv) such order of detention has not been set aside by a court of competent jurisdiction;

(c) to any person in respect of whom prosecution for any offence punishable under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988 or for the purpose of enforcement of any civil liability has been instituted on or before the filing of the declaration or such person has been convicted of any such offence punishable under any of those Acts;

(d) to any person notified under section 3 of the Special Court (Trial of Offences Relating to Transactions in Securities) Act, 1992 on or before the filing of declaration.

Power of Board to issue directions, etc.

10. (1) The Central Board of Direct Taxes may, from time to time, issue such directions or orders to the income-tax authorities, as it may deem fit:

Provided that no direction or order shall be issued so as to require any designated authority to dispose of a particular case in a particular manner.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, the said Board may, if it considers necessary or expedient so to do, for the purpose of this Act, including collection of revenue, issue from time to time, general or special orders in respect of any class of cases, setting forth directions or instructions as to the guidelines, principles or procedures to be followed by the authorities in any work relating to this Act, including collection of revenue and issue such order, if the Board is of the opinion that it is necessary in the public interest so to do.

8. Power to remove difficulties.

11. (1) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act , the Central Government may, by order, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act , remove the difficulty:

Provided that no such order shall be made after the expiry of a period of two years from the date on which the provisions of this Act come into force.

(2) Every order made under sub-section (1) shall, as soon as may be after it is made, be laid before each House of Parliament.

9. Power to make rules

12. (1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the provisions of this Act.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:—

(a) the form in which a declaration may be made, and the manner of its verification under section 4;

(b) the form and manner in which declarant shall furnish undertaking under sub-section (5) of section 4;

(c) the form in which certificate shall be granted under sub-section (1) of section 5;

(d) the form in which payment shall be intimated under sub-section (2) of section 5;

(e) any other matter which is to be, or may be, prescribed, or in respect of which provision is to be made, by rules.

(3) Every rule made by the Central Government under this Act shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days, which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.

10. STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS

Over the years, the pendency of appeals filed by taxpayers as well as Government has increased due to the fact that the number of appeals that are filed is much higher than the number of appeals that are disposed. As a result, a huge amount of disputed tax arrears is locked-up in these appeals. As on the 30th November, 2019, the amount of disputed direct tax arrears is Rs. 9.32 lakh crores. Considering that the actual direct tax collection in the financial year 2018-19 was Rs.11.37 lakh crores, the disputed tax arrears constitute nearly one year direct tax collection.

2. Tax disputes consume copious amount of time, energy and resources both on the part of the Government as well as taxpayers. Moreover, they also deprive the Government of the timely collection of revenue. Therefore, there is an urgent need to provide for resolution of pending tax disputes. This will not only benefit the Government by generating timely revenue but also the taxpayers who will be able to deploy the time, energy and resources saved by opting for such dispute resolution towards their business activities.

3. It is, therefore, proposed to introduce The Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill, 2020 for dispute resolution related to direct taxes, which, inter alia, provides for the following, namely:—

(a) The provisions of the Bill shall be applicable to appeals filed by taxpayers or the Government, which are pending with the Commissioner (Appeals), Income tax Appellate Tribunal, High Court or Supreme Court as on the 31st day of January, 2020 irrespective of whether demand in such cases is pending or has been paid;

(b) the pending appeal may be against disputed tax, interest or penalty in relation to an assessment or reassessment order or against disputed interest, disputed fees where there is no disputed tax. Further, the appeal may also be against the tax determined on defaults in respect of tax deducted at source or tax collected at source;

(c) in appeals related to disputed tax, the declarant shall only pay the whole of the disputed tax if the payment is made before the 31st day of March, 2020 and for the payments made after the 31st day of March, 2020 but on or before the date notified by Central Government, the amount payable shall be increased by 10 per cent. of disputed tax;

(d) in appeals related to disputed penalty, disputed interest or disputed fee, the amount payable by the declarant shall be 25 per cent. of the disputed penalty, disputed interest or disputed fee, as the case may be, if the payment is made on or before the 31st day of March, 2020. If payment is made after the 31st day of March, 2020 but on or before the date notified by Central Government, the amount payable shall be increased to 30 per cent. of the disputed penalty, disputed interest or disputed fee, as the case may be.

4. The proposed Bill shall come into force on the date it receives the assent of the President and declaration may be made thereafter up to the date to be notified by the Government.

NEW DELHI;
The 1st February, 2020.

NIRMALA SITHARAMAN.

PRESIDENT’S RECOMMENDATION UNDER ARTICLE 117 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA
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[Letter No. IT(A)/1/2020-TPL, dated 1.2.2020 from Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs to the Secretary General, Lok Sabha] The President, having been informed of the subject matter of the Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill, 2020, recommends under clause (1) and (3) of article 117, read with clause (1) of article 274 of the Constitution of India, the introduction of the Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill, 2020, in Lok Sabha and also recommends to Lok Sabha the consideration of the Bill.

LOK SABHA

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A

BILL

to provide for resolution of disputed tax and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

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(Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs)

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