Budget 2019: Amnesty scheme to resolve legacy tax issues

All parties can settle the disputes, save those who face conviction and those who have moved the Settlement Commission.

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The government has unveiled an amnesty scheme to resolve excise and service tax disputes pertaining to the period before the introduction of the goods and services tax to clear the backlog of cases and improve the ease of doing business. Even two years after the indirect tax regime was replaced by GST, the litigation doesn’t seem to die down and there is a huge pendency, tax experts said.

“The announcement relates to the legacy dispute resolution scheme, which intends to reduce the pending service tax and excise litigation of the pre-GST regime. It is expected that the scheme will support businesses where there are various ambiguous issues pending before the tribunals,” said Abhishek A Rastogi, a partner at Khaitan & Co.

All parties can settle the disputes, save those who face conviction and those who have moved the Settlement Commission. Relief under the scheme varies from 40% to 70% of the tax dues for cases other than voluntary disclosure cases, depending on the amount of tax dues involved.


“More than Rs 3.75 lakh crore is blocked in litigations in service tax and excise. There is a need to unload this baggage and allow business to move on,” finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
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