Vivad se Vishwas Bill was passed in Lok sabha on 04.03.2020. Also CBDT has issued various FAQ on the same so let’s discuss few in this post and you can read the entire FAQ HERE. (This link might not open mobile phone, so please use desktop)
Q. Which cases would be eligible for this scheme?
A. Those appeals which are pending before CIT(A), ITAT, High court, Supreme court and Writ petition or special leave petition before Supreme court filed before 31.01.2020. Also those cases whose order has been passed but the time limit to file appeal before higher authority has not expired on 31.01.2020.
Q. Can people whose case were under search apply for this scheme?
A. Yes but only those years of search cases would be covered where disputed tax doesn’t exceed Rs. 5 crore. For eg: Thus, if there are 7 assessments of an assessee relating to search & seizure, out of which in 4 assessments, disputed tax is five crore rupees or less in each year and in remaining 3 assessments, disputed tax is more than five crore rupees in each year, declaration can he filed for 4 assessments where disputed tax is five crore rupees or less in each year.
Q. What would happen if one has already paid the demand before appearing for this scheme?
A. He will get a refund of such tax paid but without interest.
Q. Imagine a case where an appellant desires to settle concealment penalty appeal pending before CIT(A), while continuing to litigate quantum appeal that has travelled to higher appellate forum. Considering these are two independent and different appeals, whether appellant can settle one to exclusion of others? If yes, whether settlement of penalty appeal will have any impact on quantum appeal?
A. If both quantum appeal covering disputed tax and appeal against penalty levied on such disputed tax for an assessment year are pending, the declarant is required to file a declaration form giving details of both disputed tax appeal and penalty appeal. However, he would be required to pay relevant percentage of disputed tax only. Further, it would not be possible for the appellant to apply for settlement of penalty appeal only when the appeal on disputed tax related to such penalty is still pending.
Q. In case where disputed tax contains qualifying tax arrears as also non-qualifying tax arrears (such as, tax arrears relating 10 assessment made in respect of undisclosed foreign income):
Whether assessee is eligible to the Vivad se Vishwas itself?
If eligible, whether quantification of disputed tax can exclude/ignore non-qualifying tax arrears?
A. If the tax arrears include tax on issues that are excluded from the Vivad se Vishwas, such cases are not eligible to file declaration under Vivad se Vishwas. There is no provision under Vivad se Vishwas to settle part of a pending dispute in relation to an appeal or writ or SLP for an assessment year. For one pending appeal, all the issues are required to be settled and if anyone of the issues makes the declaration invalid, no declaration can be filed.
Q. If CIT(Appeals) has given an enhancement notice, can the appellant avail the Vivad se Vishwas after including proposed enhanced income in the total assessed income?
A. The amendment proposed in the Vivad se Vishwas allows the declaration even in cases where CIT (Appeals) has issued enhancement notice on or before 31 st January, 2020. However, the disputed tax in such cases shall be increased by the amount of tax pertaining to issues for which notice of enhancement has been issued.
Q. The assessment order under section 143(3) of the Act was passed in the case of an assessee for the assessment year 2015-16. The said assessment order is pending with ITAT. Subsequently another order under section 147/143(3) was passed for the same assessment year and that is pending with CIT (Appeals)? Could both or one of the orders be settled under Vivad se Vishwas?
A. The appellant in this case has an option to settle either of the two appeals or both appeals for the same assessment year. If he decides to settle both appeals then he has to file only one declaration form. The disputed tax in this case would be the aggregate amount of disputed tax in both appeals.
Q. Refer to question number 5. How will disputed tux be calculated in a case where disputed demand including interest has been paid by the assessee while being in appeal?
A. Consider a non search case where an assessee is In appeal before Commissioner(Appeals). The tax on returned income (including surcharge and cess) comes to Rs. 30,000 and interest under section 234B of Rs.1,OOO. Assessee has paid this amount of Rs. 31,000 at the time of filing his tax return. During assessment an addition is made and additional demand of Rs. 16,000 has been raised, which comprises of disputed tax (including surcharge and cess) of Rs. 10,000 and interest on such disputed tax of Rs.6000. Penalty has been initiated separately. Assessee has paid the demand of Rs. 14,000 during pendency of appeal; however interest under section 220 of the Act is yet to be calculated. Assessee files a declaration, which is accepted and certificate is issued by the designated authority (DA). The disputed tax of Rs 10,000 (at 100%) is to be paid on or before 31″ March 2020. Since he has already paid Rs. 14,000, he would be entitled to refund of Rs. 4,000 (without section 244A interest). Further, the interest leviable under section 220 and penalty leviable shall also be waived.
Q. In a case ITAT has passed order giving relief on two issues and confirming three issues. Time to file appeal has not expired as on specified date. The taxpayer wishes to file declaration for the three issues which have gone against him. What about the other two issues as the taxpayer is not sure if the department will file appeal or not?
A. The Vivad se Vishwas allow declaration to be filed even when time to file appeal has not expired considering them to be a deemed appeal. Vivad se Vishwas also envisages option to assessee to file declaration for only his appeal or declaration for department appeal or declaration for both. Thus, in a given situation the appellant has a choice, he can only settle his deemed appeal on three issues, or he can settle department deemed appeal on two issues or he can settle both. If he decides to settle only his deemed appeal, then department would be free to file appeal on the two issues (where the assessee has got relief) as per the extant procedure laid down and directions issued by the CBDT.
Q. Addition was made u/s 143(3) on two issues whereas appeal filed only for one addition. Whether interest and penalty be waived for both additions.
A. Under Vivad se Vishwas, interest and penalty will be waived only in respect of the issue which is disputed in appeal and for which declaration is filed. Hence, for the undisputed issue, the tax, interest and penalty shall be payable.
Q. Where appeals are withdrawn from the appellate forum, and the declarant is declared to be ineligible under the Vivad se Vishwas by DA at the stage of determination of amount payable under section 5(1) or, amount determined by DA is at variance of amount declared by declarant and declarant is not agreeable to DA’s determination of amount payable, then whether the appeals are automatically reinstated or a separate application needs to be filed for reinstating the appeal before the appellate authorities.
A. Under the amended procedure no appeal is required to be withdrawn before the grant of certificate by DA. After the grant of certificate by DA under clause 5, the appellant is required to withdraw appeal or writ or special leave petition pending before the appellant forum and submit proof of withdrawal with intimation of payment to the DA as per the same clause. Where assessee has made request for withdrawal and such request is under process, proof of request made shall be enclosed.
Similarly in case of arbitration, conciliation or mediation, proof of withdrawal of arbitration/conciliation/mediation is to be enclosed along with intimation of payment to the DA.
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