New forms for filing of income-tax returns for the assessment year 2013-14 are proposed to be notified by the end of this month.

“The new forms for filing the income-tax returns for the assessment year 2013-14 are proposed to be notified by the end of March 2013,” Minister of State for Finance S.S. Palanimanickam said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

Every year, the Government notifies forms for filing of income-tax returns after incorporating changes brought out by the Finance Act of the previous year and the suggestions received from stakeholders.

Replying to a separate question, the Minister said Rs 97,611 crore in direct taxes and Rs 1,08,081.08 crore in indirect taxes are locked up in litigation.

On steps taken by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to minimise litigation time to ensure early release of the locked-up amount, Palanimanickam said: “To facilitate early disposal of appeals pending with ITAT (Income Tax Appellate Tribunal), High Courts and Supreme Court, instructions have been issued to ensure proper and timely representation.”

On steps taken by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) to minimise litigation time to ensure early released of the locked-up amount, the Minister said, “Threshold limit of filing of Departmental Appeals have been prescribed as Rs 25 lakh, Rs 10 lakh, and Rs 5 lakh before the Supreme Court, High Court and Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate tribunal respectively.”

The legislative amendments in the Finance Bill, 2013 have been introduced to enhance the monetary limit of cases heard and disposed by single member benches of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 50 lakh, Palanimanickam added.

Replying to a separate question, Palanimanickam informed Lok Sabha that in the searches conducted by the Income-Tax department in 2012-13 (up to December 30) seized unexplained assets of Rs 543.5 crore.

In 2011-12 the Department had seized unexplained assets of Rs 905.60 crore, while in the previous fiscal that of Rs 774.98 crore were seized, he said.

(This article was published on March 15, 2013)
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