The government has decided to extend the deadline to settle tax disputes under the Vivad se Vishwas scheme from March 31 to June 30, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at a press conference on Tuesday. Applicants will not have to pay any extra interest or penalty on the extension, said the minister. Individuals would have had to pay 10 per cent on the disputed amount for settlements done after March 31. This announcement comes under the coronavirus lockdown imposed by the government across 30 states and Union Territories in the country.
The Vivad se Vishwas scheme was announced by the Finance Minister in the Budget 2020 for settlement of tax disputes between individuals and the tax department. The scheme offers waiver of interest and penalty to taxpayers with a full and final settlement. If the individual opts for this scheme then the Income Tax department cannot reopen these disputes in any other proceeding.
Since the law came into effect only on March 17 after the Cabinet approved the changes to the initial scheme and the forms were issued on March 18, taxpayers would have had only 12 days till the deadline. Moreover, the lockdown across states would have made it difficult for taxpayers to meet and consult with their CAs.
The Revenue Department has notified five forms for various steps that are required to be filed online. The assessees will also have to submit an undertaking that waives the right to seek, pursue of remedy any claim in relation to the tax arrears. Taxpayers will have to provide details of nature of tax arrears, assessment year, details of order, amount of tax arrears already paid, manner of computation of tax payable under the scheme in the appropriate forms.
Once the forms are received, the designated authority will issue an order within 15 days directing the assessee to make payment of the sum payable after adjusting the amounts already paid. The assessee will be given a period of 30 days for the payment of the sum.