Large taxpayers yet to take benefits of Sabka Vishwas amnesty scheme : 09-01-2020

As many as 87.5 per cent of the eligible taxpayers have taken advantage of Sabka Vishwas, a dispute resolution-cum-amnesty scheme, which has been extended till January 15.

However, the large taxpayers who are almost 12.5 per cent of the total eligible taxpayers with total tax amount of Rs 1.7 lakh crore under litigation has yet to make declaration under this scheme.

According to sources, the government is unlikely to further extend the scheme which went live on September 1, 2019.

The sources said that till now, 161,214 taxpayers (87.5 per cent) out of the total 1.84 lakh eligible taxpayers have already availed the scheme.

These taxpayers have declared tax dues of around Rs 79,968 crore and after availing the various reliefs and amnesty as per the rules of the scheme, they would pay around Rs 35,094 crore, sources said.

However, only 23,000 (about 12.5 per cent of the total) eligible taxpayers have not yet applied under the scheme while the vast majority of the smaller taxpayers have already opted for the scheme.

These mainly include the large taxpayers and in 7,100 such cases, a total tax amount of Rs 1.7 lakh crore is under litigation, sources said.

The sources said its officers are pursuing taxpayers to avail this scheme before January 15 as it would not be extend further.

“The large taxpayers have not yet opted for the scheme due to many reasons. One probable reason why the large taxpayers still hesitating to come under the scheme could be the vast array of intermediaries including tax consultants, lawyers, etc. whom they rely upon,” one of the the sources said.

For obvious reasons, the immediate settlement of these long-pending cases is not seen in the best interests of these intermediaries, the sources added.

However, the sources said CBIC said there is no doubt that the scheme provides ‘never before, never again’ offered benefits so even if a taxpayer is advised its case is legally strong, economic prudence would justify it in availing the scheme.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had unveiled the Sabka Vishwas (Legacy Dispute Resolution) Scheme, 2019, in the Budget 2019-20 with the objective of settling pending disputes of the Service Tax and Central Excise.

According to the ministry, a total Rs 3.6 lakh crore is locked up in 1.83 lakh cases at various quasi-judicial, appellate and judicial forums under Service Tax and Central Excise put together.

Source : Financial Express