CBDT Current Affairs

Government raises threshold monetary limit for filling appeals relating to tax cases

Union Finance Ministry has hiked threshold monetary limit for tax departments to file appeals all three levels of appeal — Appellate Tribunals, High Courts, and Supreme Court. The move is aimed at significantly decreasing taxpayer greivances and litigation burden of tax departments in courts and tribunals across the country.

Key Facts

Tax departments, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) files appeals in ITAT (Income Tax Appellate Tribunal) while Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) files appeals in CESTAT (Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal) and also in High Courts and Supreme Courts.

Under new limits tax departments CBDT and CBIC can file appeals in ITAT/CESTAT only if the tax amount involved is Rs 20 lakh or more, up from Rs 10 lakh at present. Moreover, appeals can be filed in High Courts if tax amount involved in litigation is Rs 50 lakh (up from Rs 20 lakh at present). For appeals in Supreme Court, the threshold limit has been hiked to Rs 1 crore (from Rs 25 lakh at present).

The new threshold limits will result in 41% reduction litigation from CBDT’s side, including 34% cases in ITAT, 48% of cases in case of High Courts and 54% of cases in case of Supreme Court. Similarly, in case of CBIC, it will result in reduction in 18% of cases as 16% of cases will be withdrawn in CESTAT, 22% in High Courts, and 21% in Supreme Court.

This decision will give relief to taxpayers. It is also based on premise that the cost of litigation is sometimes more than the recovery sought. It will also create trust in tax administration and give relief to honest, small and mid-sized taxpayers. It will promote tax friendly environment and help to promote ease of doing business.

Background

More than 66% of cases are stuck in litigation involve 1.8% in value. In many cases, cost of litigation is higher than the recovery. As per Economic Survey 2017-18, even though success rate of tax department at all three levels of appeal — Appellate Tribunals, High Courts, and the Supreme Court is under 30% for both direct and indirect tax litigation, it remains undeterred and persists in pursuing litigation at every level of the judicial hierarchy making it the largest litigant in India. The tax department unambiguously loses 65% of its cases. Over period of time, the success rate of tax departments has only been declining, while that of assessees has been increasing.

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CBDT notifies Protocol amending DTAA between India and Kuwait

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has notified protocol to amend existing Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Kuwait. The DTAA between both countries was signed in June 2006 for the avoidance of double taxation and for prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

Key Facts

The said protocol amends existing DTAA was entered into force in March 2018. It updates the provisions in DTAA for exchange of information as per international standards. Further, it enables sharing of information received from Kuwait for tax purposes with other law enforcement agencies with authorisation of competent authority of Kuwait and vice versa.

Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA)

DTAA is a tax treaty signed between countries (or any two/multiple countries) so that taxpayers do not pay double taxes on their income earned from source country as well as their residence country. So far, India has signed double tax avoidance treaties with more than 80 countries around the world.

The need for DTAA arises out of imbalance in tax collection on global income of individuals. person aims to do business in foreign country, he may end up paying income taxes in both countries i.e. in the country where income is earned and country where individual holds his citizenship or residence. DTAA helps to taxpayers to do away issues of paying double taxes.

Benefits of DTAA

Tax payers do not have to pay double taxes on the same income. It has lower withholding tax (Tax Deduction at Source or TDS). It provides tax credits, certain exemption from taxes. It also minimises opportunity for tax evasion for tax payers in either or both of countries between which the bilateral and multilateral DTAA agreement have been signed.

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