The parliament on Friday passed Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas Bill, 2020 with an aim to settle pending direct tax disputes in the country. The Bill, which will provide taxpayers a lucrative opportunity to settle direct tax disputes within the current financial year by waiving interest and penalty on their pending taxes, was passed by voice vote and returned by Rajya Sabha as it was a money bill.
On March 4, the Lok Sabha had passed the Vivad se Vishwas Bill with certain amendments.
Moving the Bill, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, large number of appeals related to tax disputes are pending at the various level which are putting pressure on the tax payers.
She said, this bill has been brought up with the objective to settle the tax dispute in an efficient manner.
Initiating the discussion, Congress member M V Rajeev Gowda said that bill has been brought up in haste and it provides the opportunity of one time settlement.
He said, government is not addressing the actual cause of the tax litigation. He said, unrealistic target of tax collection is putting pressure on the tax payers in the form of tax terrorism.
Replying to the some members who had raised issues on the bill asking how can the Central Board of Direct Taxes issue a circular on the scheme before passage of the bill in Parliament, she said, "There is no breach of privilege."
The Minister also said that the Bill will give an option to tax payers for settling disputes.
She also said that the government would send a circular to states in all languages for providing detailed information about the bill.
First proposed in Union Budget 2020, the Bill was approved by the Union Cabinet on February 12. The Vivad se Vishwas Bill aims to resolve 4.83 lakh direct tax cases worth Rs 9.32 lakh crore that are currently locked up in various appellate forums such as Commissioner (Appeals), Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, High Courts, Supreme Court and Debt Recovery Tribunals.
Also, once the Bill is passed by the Parliament, it can be availed in search and seizure operations with recoveries up to Rs 5 crore.