The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in a major drive to reduce the huge pendency of income tax appeal cases has decided to dispose of 60% of the pending cases in FY15.
According to the plan finalised at a conference of top CBDT officials from across the country on Monday, out of 2,15,174 appeals pending before the existing commissioners of income tax (appeals) or CIT (A) as on April 1, the department has fixed a target of clearing 95,560 appeals in the current financial year itself.
Apart from this, additional posts of CIT (A) have been created under the ongoing cadre restructuring in the department. Another 38,500 cases will be solved by the new CITs from the remaining 1,20,794, in FY15.
This means 1,34,060 cases out of 2,15,174 cases pending at the end of FY14 will be off the CBDT’s back in FY15. A total of around R4 lakh crore of tax disputes are stuck at the CIT level.
The target has been computed considering that the additional 119 CIT (A) posts would be created by September 1. Currently, there are 243 CIT (A) in the department.
The disposal of appeals will be monitored at the highest level on a quarterly basis and a monthly report submitted to the CBDT to ensure targets are met. The cases are classified in different categories based on the demand, with cases with demands above R10 lakh kept in the first basket.
The speedy resolution of appeals at the CIT (A) level will also boost the CBDT’s efforts to curb litigation at all levels. A six-member committee has already been constituted to suggest ways to solve the existing cases at the CIT (A) and the Income Tax Appellate Tribunals.
About 31,000 cases were pending at the appellate tribunals at the end of FY13, another 31,000 were pending in the high courts, and 5,808 cases awaited disposal in the Supreme Court.
All this has meant that the arrear demands have risen from R5.80 lakh crore in FY13 to R6.75 lakh crore in FY14. The department has now planned to collect R41,997 crore out of this in FY15, and this will be possible only if the CBDT finds credible ways to dispose of cases in a speedy manner.
fe Bureau | The Financial Express