taxAn amount of Rs 5,472 crore of dues, inclusive of pre-deposit of Rs 4,225 crore, have been declared under the Sabka Vishwas Legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme, 2019, the mid-term review of the dispute resolution scheme for pending service tax and excise cases that was announced in this year’s Budget has revealed.
Though the response has been tepid with just 1.3 per cent of the total amount locked in litigation at Rs 3.6 lakh crore for 1.83 lakh cases declared so far, officials and experts expect the scheme to pick up going ahead in the remaining two months of the scheme.
“A mid-term review reveals that a total amount of Rs 5,472 crore (inclusive of pre-deposit amount of Rs 4,225 crore) has already been declared under the Scheme. Efforts are being made to maximize declarations by December 31 when the scheme ends,” Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) sources said. The Board has begun an outreach programme for the trade and industry by asking principal chief commissioners and chief commissioners of CGST who have the information to contact the 1.8 lakh eligible taxpayers, they said.
The CBIC has also told officials that the performance of the field formations would be “judged in terms of their outreach and ability to persuade the taxpayers to avail the scheme”, they said.
Tax experts also expect the response to pick up going ahead given that there is provision for full waiver of interest and penalty. “It’s one of the best amnesty schemes to have come so far, with complete waiver of interest and penalty and in most cases 50 per cent of tax being waived. It’s likely that the response will pick up around December,” Abhishek Jain, tax partner, EY said.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Budget for 2019-20 had announced the legacy dispute resolution scheme to “allow quick closure” of the litigations pertaining to pre-GST regime. Under this scheme, relief is to the tune of 70 per cent of the duty involved if it is Rs 50 lakh or less and that of 50 per cent if it is more than Rs 50 lakh. This is for cases pending in adjudication or appeal or in investigation and audit. In cases of outstanding arrears of revenue, the relief is 60 per cent of the duty amount if it is Rs 50 lakh or less and 40 per cent, if it is more than Rs 50 lakh. In all cases, there is full waiver of interest and penalty and exemption from prosecution. All persons are eligible to avail the scheme except a few exclusions including those convicted under the law in the case for which he intends to make declaration and those who have filed an application before the Settlement Commission.