With the objective of reducing pending income tax litigation, generating timely revenue for the Government and giving benefit to taxpayers by providing them peace of mind, certainty and savings on account of time and resources, the Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Act, 2020 (hereinafter referred to as 'VsV‘) was enacted on 17th March, 2020.
The settlement provisions under the Income-tax Act, 1961 (Income-tax Act) provide for an alternate mechanism to a taxpayer who chooses to exit the regular process of assessment which would have resulted into determination of tax liability and instead approached the Income Tax Settlement Commission (ITSC) for settlement of his case under Chapter XIX-A of the Income-tax Act. As the VsV was enacted for the resolution of disputed tax and not for the taxes covered by an order in pursuance to the settlement of a case under Chapter XIX-A of the Income-tax Act, such cases as are covered by Chapter XIX-A of the Income-tax Act (whether they have attained finality or not) have always been, therefore, intended to be outside the purview of VsV.
With a view to remove any ambiguity, it is proposed to amend the provisions of VsV to clarify the original legislative intent for which the definitions of appellant in section 2(1)(a), disputed tax in section 2(1)(j) and "tax arrear" in section 2(1)(o), of the VsV are proposed to be amended by way of removal of doubts by this Bill.
The said amendments are proposed to take effect retrospectively from the 17th March 2020.
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