Forms, rules notified for Vivad se Viswas scheme

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 19, 2020

The Finance Ministry has notified rules and forms for the Vivad se Viswas scheme. For now, assesses wanting to take benefit of the scheme for resolving corporate tax and personal income tax-related disputes, will have 13 days to do so without paying any additional amount.

The scheme intends to provide an opportunity to taxpayers to settle disputes by paying due taxes with complete waiver of interest and penalty till March 31, and with some additional payment till June 30. As on November 30, 2019, the disputed direct tax arrears amount to ₹9.32-lakh crore. Considering that the actual direct tax collection in FY2018-19 was ₹11.37-lakh crore, the disputed tax arrears constitute nearly a one-year direct tax collection.

However, experts feel that time is too short to take benefit of the scheme. Rakesh Nangia, Chairman, Nangia Andersen Consulting, said that all the forms are required to be filled online and utility/ e-forms are yet to be released, which may take another couple of days. “So practically, taxpayers may have only around seven to nine working days to avail the scheme on/before March 31 2020. Therefore, practically, it may be extremely difficult both for the taxpayers as well as Designated Authorities to examine all the cases and make payment on/ before March 31, 2020,” he said.

Further, the turmoil due to the global pandemic makes matters worse as various offices and tax practitioners have started working from home. The scheme designed to provide relief to taxpayers stuck in long drawn litigation becomes less attractive and practically very difficult to implement owing to the stringent deadlines, which must be extended by the government. Considering all these, tax practicenors have demanded that the date of March 31 be extended at least till May 15.

According to the notification dated March 18, there are a total of five forms that need to be completed online. Eligible assesses are required to submit their declaration in Form 1 to the Designated Authority, which is a very detailed Form covering different scenarios. Further, the undertaking, waiving the right to seek or pursue any remedy or any claim in relation to tax arrears under any law, will have to be furnished by the declarant in Form 2. The declaration and the undertaking shall have to be verified by the declarant or the authorised representative and the designated authority shall issue an acknowledgement electronically on receipt thereof.

On receipt of the declaration form and undertaking, the designated authority shall, within 15 days, issue an order (in Form 3) directing the assessee to make payment of the sum payable after adjusting the amounts already paid. The assessee has also been given a 30-day period for payment of the prescribed sum and give intimation of such payment to the designated authority. The intimation of payment is required to be made in Form 4, specifying the details of payment like the serial number of challan, date of payment, amount, etc. In case of non-payment of the amount determined within the prescribed time period, the declaration shall be treated as void and shall be deemed to have never been made. Finally, the designated authority shall issue a certificate (in Form 5) granting immunity and specifying the details of dispute settlement.

Published on March 19, 2020

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