Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Direct Taxes
Dated: 12th September, 2016
Clarifications on the Direct Tax Dispute Resolution Scheme, 2016
The Direct Tax Dispute Resolution Scheme, 2016 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Scheme’) incorporated as Chapter X of the Finance Act, 2016 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Act’) provides an opportunity to tax payers who are under litigation to come forward and settle the dispute in accordance with the provisions of the Scheme. The Direct Tax Dispute Resolution Scheme Rules, 2016 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Rules’) have been notified. In regard to the scheme queries have been received from the stakeholders seeking further clarity on certain provisions of the Scheme. The Central Government has considered the queries and decided to clarify the same in the form of questions and answers as follows.-
Question No.1: In a case an appeal was pending before CIT(Appeals) as on 29.02.2016. However, before making declaration under the Scheme the appeal is disposed of by CIT(Appeals). Is the assessee eligible to avail the Scheme?
Answer: In such a case where the appeal was pending before CIT(Appeals) as on 29.02.2016 and the CIT(Appeals) has already disposed of the same before making the declaration, the declaration under the Scheme cannot be filed.
Question No.2: In a case where the appellant has filed a declaration under the Scheme or has intimated the CIT(Appeals) his intention to file declaration under the Scheme, whether the CIT(Appeals) will dispose-off the appeal?
Answer: The CIT(Appeals) have been instructed vide letter F.No.279/Misc./M-30/2016 dated 30.3.2016 that appeals where the appellants have expressed their intention to avail the Scheme should be kept pending. Further, vide letter F.No.279/Misc./M-74/2016-ITJ dated 19.07.2016, the designated authority have been instructed to obtain an endorsement from CIT(Appeals) concerned that the appeal for which declaration has been filed was pending on 29.2.2016 and has not yet been disposed. Therefore, in a case where the declaration has been made under the Scheme or an intention to avail the Scheme has been made by the appellant, the CIT(Appeals) shall not dispose the pending appeal.
Question No.3: Appeal against quantum as well as penalty under section 271(1)(c) is pending before CIT(Appeals). If the assessee files a declaration in respect of the quantum appeal under the Scheme, what would be the fate of penalty appeal?
Answer: As per the Scheme, in a case where disputed tax in quantum appeal is more than Rs.10 lakh, the declarant has to pay the disputed tax, interest and 25% of minimum penalty leviable. Further, in a case where the disputed tax in quantum appeal does not exceed Rs.10 lakh, the declarant is required to pay only the disputed tax & interest and there is no requirement for payment of any amount in respect of penalty leviable.
Section 205(b) of the Act provides immunity from imposition or waiver of penalty under the Income-tax Act or the Wealth-tax Act in respect of tax arrear covered in the declaration to the extent the penalty exceeds the amount of penalty referred to in section 202(I) of the Act. Hence, in both the situations (i.e. whether disputed tax in quantum appeal exceeds Rs.10 lakh or not), where a valid declaration under the Scheme is made in respect of quantum appeal, the appeal against penalty levied under section 271(1)(c) of the Income-tax Act, relating to the quantum appeal pending before the Commissioner (Appeals) shall be deemed to be withdrawn and the penalty or the balance amount of penalty, as the case may be, shall be deemed to be waived.
Question No.4: Section 203(2) reads that consequent to the declaration in respect of tax arrear, the appeal pending before Commissioner (Appeals) shall be deemed to be withdrawn. From what point of time does the provision become operative?
Answer: The appeal pending with Commissioner (Appeals) shall be deemed to be withdrawn from the date on which the certificate under section 204(1) is issued by the designated authority.
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