CBDT asks tax officials to speed up withdrawal of appeals cases : 21-01-2019

Apex direct taxes body, the Central Board of Direct Taxes, has cracked down on the delay in withdrawal of tax litigations in Income Tax Appellate Tribunal and High Courts and asked officials to expedite the process.

The board has shot off a letter to field officers, asking them to complete the exercise by January end.

“The entire exercise of withdrawal of appeals must conclude by January end,” Neena Kumar, member of CBDT, said in a letter sent to principal commissioners all over the country.

Based on data received so far there is substantial scope for withdrawal of identified appeals, Kumar said in the letter dated January 15.

“Kindly ensure that immediate efforts are made to arrange personal meetings with senior officials of registry of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal and High Court so that appeal withdrawal process is completed quickly,” she wrote. ET has seen a copy of the letter.

Nearly 23% of the 8,300 appeals in high courts and 22.8% of 7,785 appeals at ITAT are still to be withdrawn by tax officials.

The Narendra Modi-led NDA government had raised the monetary thresholds at each level to cut down on tax litigation. Threshold for filing appeals in tribunals was raised to Rs 20 lakh, while that for high courts and the Supreme Court was raised to Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore, respectively. The previous threshold for filing appeals in tribunals was Rs 10 lakh, while for high courts and the Supreme Court, they were Rs 20 lakh and Rs 25 lakh, respectively.

This move resulted in 41% reduction in litigation for CBDT.

“The CBDT order highlights the government resolve to cut down on litigation by effective monitoring of their earlier circular,” said Amit Maheshwari, partner at CA firm Ashok Maheshwary & Associates LLP. “This will enable the tax department to channelise their energies to high value litigations,” he said.

Source : Times of India