‘Sabka Viswas’ tax dispute resolution scheme may go live from Sept 1

Shishir Sinha New Delhi | Updated on August 15, 2019

Scheme aims at speedy resolution of tax cases

The new Legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme — ‘Sabka Viswas’ is likely to be made available from September 1.

The scheme aims to resolve nearly 1.5 lakh cases involving an amount of ₹3.75 lakh crore pending before Commissioner (Appeals), CESTAT, High Courts and the Supreme Court. These cases are related with Central Excise Duty, Services Tax and central cesses which have now been subsumed in Goods & Services Tax.

That is why these cases are called as legacy cases. Central Excise duty is still applicable for five petroleum products (crude oil-petrol-diesel-aviation turbine fuel-natural gas).

The Finance Ministry has come out with a detailed frequently asked questions (FAQs) for the scheme and now is expected to come out with detailed rules and forms. It is also working on a dedicated portal for the scheme.

Once electronic declaration is made, then an acknowledgement bearing a unique reference number will be generated by the system. This unique number will be useful for all future references. The declaration will automatically be routed to the designated committee that will finalise assesses’ case. Within 60 days of filing of a declaration, he/she will be informed electronically about the final decision taken in the matter.

The scheme was announced in the Budget which prescribes total waiver of interest, penalty and fine in all cases and immunity from prosecution. In cases pending in adjudication or appeal, a relief of 70 per cent from the duty demand if it is ₹50 lakh or less and 50 per cent, if it is more than ₹50 lakh has been proposed. The same relief is available for cases under investigation and audit where the duty involved is quantified on or before June 30, 2019.

In case of an amount in arrears, the relief is 60 per cent of the confirmed duty amount if the same is ₹50 lakh or less and it is 40 per cent in other cases. In cases of voluntary disclosure, the declarant will have to pay full amount of disclosed duty.

The Designated Committee will give an opportunity to the declarant of being heard, in case of a disagreement. The declarant will pay the settled amount electronically within a period of 30 days of the statement issued by the Designated Committee.

According to the FAQ, where the declarant has filed an appeal or reference or a reply to the show cause notice against any order or notice giving rise to the tax dues, before the appellate forum, other than the Supreme Court or the High Court, then, such appeal or reference or reply will be deemed to have been withdrawn. Also, the declarant will have to withdraw writ petitions filed in High Court/Supreme Court.

On payment of the amount indicated in the statement and production of proof of withdrawal of appeal, wherever applicable, the Designated Committee will issue a discharge certificate in electronic form, within 30 days of the said payment and production of proof, whichever is later.

Published on August 15, 2019

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