The direct tax dispute resolution scheme, Vivad se Vishwas 2020, has received encouraging response so far. Tax disputes involving Rs 97,000 crore have come for settlement under the scheme, sources from the Revenue Department said. So far, 125,144 cases have come for settlement under the scheme, which is 25 per cent of total 510,419 cases pending in different legal forums.
The Vivad se Vishwas scheme was launched in March 2020 just before the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. It will be open till February 28, 2021. The scheme was introduced with the objective to reduce pending income tax litigation, generate timely revenue for the Government and to benefit taxpayers by providing them peace of mind, certainty and savings on account of time and resources that would otherwise be spent on the long-drawn and vexatious litigation process.
Sources said that the Vivad se Vishwas Scheme has received 15 times better response in comparison to Direct Tax Dispute Resolution Scheme (DTDRS) in 2016; the disputed amount settled under it is 153 times that of DTDRS.
DTDR Scheme in 2016 resolved 8,600 cases and settled disputes worth Rs 631 Crore. A similar scheme in 1998 - Kar Vivad Samadhan Scheme - had settled disputes worth Rs 739 crore.
Sources said that Vivad se Vishwas scheme allows the taxpayers in dispute with tax administration to start afresh with clean slate. It also helps to clean the tax ecosystem of its litigation legacy forever, thereby saving on cost and resources for all the parties involved in tax litigations.
Unlike its earlier counterparts, Vivad se Vishwas scheme has under its ambit all appeals or SLPs pending as on January 31, 2020, in courts up to the Supreme Court. The scheme allows covering matters pending before Dispute Resolution Panel (DRP) or where directions have been issued but order has not been passed by DRP on or before January 31, 2020. Revision petitions (under section 264) filed on or before January 31, 2020 are also covered.
Sources said that the setting up of Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) announced in the recent Budget presented in the Parliament on Monday is also in furtherance of the Vivad Se Vishwas scheme. Under DRC, further impetus is to be provided to resolve the litigations in the best interest of the small taxpayers in a Tax Lok Adaalat format which would bring transparency and accountability in a faceless manner.