Push Vivad se Vishwas Scheme deadline to May 15, say tax practitioners

Surabhi | Updated on March 18, 2020 Published on March 18, 2020

Cite Covid-19 disruption and short time-frame for adhering to March 31 deadline

Mumbai, March 18 Tax practitioners have sought an extension of the March 31 deadline of the Vivad se Vishwas scheme (VSVS) till May 15 due to the short time period since the enactment of the Bill and concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

Six trade and tax chambers have sent a representation to Finance Minsiter Nirmala Sitharaman seeking extension of the deadline for 100 per cent payment of disputed tax pointing out that in the current economic turmoil and the short time frame, the scheme may not meet its objectives.

The representation has been sent by IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bombay Chartered Accountants’ Society, Chartered Accountants Association of Ahmedabad, Chartered Accountants Association of Surat, Karnataka State Chartered Accountants’ Association and Lucknow Chartered Accountants’ Society.

“In view of the current situation, to make the scheme successful, we suggest the time-limit for settling the disputes by payment of 100 per cent of disputed tax be extended to May 15, 2020, so that the taxpayers get almost two months’ period to evaluate the scheme once it becomes an Act, and also the government has necessary time to issue and clarify all the matters raised before them by the taxpayers and stakeholders,” they have said.

They have also suggested that the taxpayers be allowed two or three instalments for payment of ‘disputed taxes’ under the scheme as was permissible under the earlier scheme, so that the taxpayers are not burdened, “in this severe economic melt-down”.

The tax practitioners have pointed out that the Central Board of Direct Taxes issued 54 FAQs on March 4 and the Direct-tax Vivad Se Vishwas Bill, 2020 was approved by Parliament on March 13.

“The finally Approved Scheme and Forms, Rules and Procedures under the VSVS, are likely to be available to the stakeholders by March 20, 21,” they have noted, adding that taxpayers will then have only eight to 10 days to decide to make application, get it processed from Designated Authority (DA) and make the payment by March 31.

“…the procedure prescribed under VSVS itself provides 15 days for DA to issue Certificate and thereafter another 15 days for the taxpayers to make payment under the scheme,” they further said.

The tax practitioners have also pointed out that tremendous turmoil in economic situation in India and world-over, because of outbreak of coronavirus has also severely affected businesses.

“Several business houses across India have asked their teams to refrain from coming to office and instead, work from home,” it noted, adding that there has been global shut-down of businesses due to Covid-19 in US, European countries like UK, Italy, Germany as well as other countries like China, Iran, South Korea.

“Accordingly, in cases of MNC taxpayers willing to avail the scheme, there will be restrictions and delay for them to get approval from their global offices and headquarters for availing of the VSVS,” the representation noted.

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Published on March 18, 2020
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