The Income Tax Settlement Commission, Ministry of Finance , has settled over 15000 tax disputes involving over 1.35 lakhs tax proceedings in its life time since 1976. In 2010-11, it passed 400 orders, in which it settled income amounting to 595 Crores, which was 187% over the returned income of 206 Crores in these cases. This was stated by Shri Ramji Sinha, Chairman, Income Tax Settlement Commission here today, while inaugurating the ‘K. N. Wanchoo Conference hall’, in order to commemorate Justice Kailas Nath Wanchoo, for his role in visualising the Income Tax Settlement Commission. The inauguration took place in the presence of eminent tax payers, members of bar association, and other senior officers of the Commission .
The Income Tax Settlement Commission is a high-level, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) body for resolving protracted tax disputes. This organization was set up in 1976 on the recommendation of a high level Committee constituted by the Government under Justice K. N. Wanchoo, retired Chief Justice of Supreme Court. The Settlement Commission is mandated to resolve tax disputes by serving as a neutral mediator, by adopting consensus rather than conflict approach. It’s objective is to allow non-habitual tax offenders to come clean by making disclosure before the Commission, which then passes final settlement orders within 18 months. The full amount of tax and interest is to be paid by the applicant before making the application The orders of the Commission are final and conclusive and binding for both parties, i.e. The Income Tax Department and the taxpayers.
At present, there are 4 benches of the Commission working at New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. During the recent budget speech in 2011, the Union Finance Minister has announced setting up 3 new benches of the Income Tax Settlement Commission.
The Commission is committed to serve its objective of dispute resolution in a time bound manner, which is in line with the National Litigation Policy of the government.