MUMBAI: Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown declared by the government, the Income Tax department Mumbai chief has written to the CBDT head to extend the date of limitation of March 31.
Considering that Mumbai contributes towards 32 per cent of tax mop up, the Principal Chief Commissioner has also requested to extend the same for Direct Tax dispute resolution or Vivad se Vishwas (VsV) scheme and cases under the Black Money Act.
Under VsV, disputed assessees can apply before March 31, an additional 10 per cent more will be charged for settlement of disputes after that date. The Mumbai-wing had drawn a list of over 64,400 cases with a tax demand of Rs 4.43 lakh crores pertaining to corporate houses, central and state public sector undertakings (PSUs) and high net individuals.
The government aims to mop up around Rs 9.32 lakh crores through the scheme and meet its shortfall in the direct tax collections, sources said. On the other hand cases under Black Money Act will be time-barred by March 2020 for cases in which notice under section 10 has been issued in FY-2017-18.
“This is an unprecedented situation. The government needs to extend the financial year to April 30. The time-barring assessment won’t be completed by March 30 and the much-touted VsV scheme cannot be implemented,” said an official privy to the developments. “Since Mumbai contributed to one-third of the direct tax mop-up and the city coming to a grinding hall, this measure requires to be taken,” added the official
According to the communique reviewed by ET, Satish Gupta, Principal Chief Commissioner, Income Tax , Mumbai has written, “…In the city of Mumbai, suburban local trains have been stopped. More than 90 per cent of the officers and staff travel by local trains and a stoppage of this service has meant there is no staff or officers are able to come to office”, reads the letter. “
It is also brought to the notice that TDS building has been taken over by Municipal Corporation for hospital purpose. Apart from that there is a general panic and keeping the government advisories in mind, the officers are trying to avoid travel in an effort to maintain social distancing. Their travel not only risks their personal safety but that of their families and the whole community,” it adds.
“It is requested that steps may be initiated to extend the time-barring date of March 31, 2020, under the IT- act for various functions. Similar action may also be taken for VsV and Black Money Act,” the request further adds.