The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has told all chief commissioners to recover at least Rs 42,000 crore from the arrears demand in 2014-15, as a part of the process of unlocking over Rs 4 lakh crore under litigation.
CBDT chairman RK Tiwari told The Indian Express that, “A major portion of this demand is locked up in the first appeal. Also, the entire demand may not be collectable demand. We enforce demand once it is confirmed by CIT appeals. We call this arrears demand … We have now issued guidelines that below a certain benchmark tax demand, department will not appeal. In ITAT, up to Rs 4 lakh, there would be no appeal by the department. It has been raised by Rs 1 lakh.”
Tiwari said that the department will also discuss measures to collect the arrears and meet the current year’s target in the upcoming chief commissioners’ conference on July 21-22. The conference will focus on meeting the revenue target, reducing litigation and disposing off appeal, and working towards reducing compliance cost for taxpayers and providing a non-adversarial tax regime.
Presenting the Budget in Parliament, finance minister Arun Jaitley had said the government will work towards improving the tax-to-GDP ratio and providing a “stable and predictable taxation regime” which will be investor friendly and spur growth.
He had also announced widening of the scope of the income-tax settlement commission so that taxpayers could approach the commission for settlement of disputes.
“There are nine benches in the commission. Members will be posted… this should happen in a few months time,” Tiwari said. Settlement commission was set up in 1976 by the government to resolve tax disputes between tax department and taxpayers.
As regard to the budgetary target, the CBDT chairman said that though the target is high, “We are hopeful that we will achieve it if the projected growth rate of 5.4 per cent is achieved”. The government has set a direct tax collection target of Rs 7,58,421 crore for 2014-15.