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Interim Budget 2024: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Withdraws ‘Disputed Tax’ Liability Up To Rs 25K

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in the interim budget 2024, proposed to withdraw outstanding tax demands of up to Rs 25,000 for the ease of taxpayers.

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Outlook Money
February 1, 2024
Interim Budget 2024: Finance Minister

Interim Budget 2024: Finance Minister

In the interim budget for the financial year 2024-25, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a significant relief for taxpayers involved in tax disputes. She said that a considerable number of disputed cases are pending, and some even date back to 1962.

To remove the “anxiety of honest taxpayers”, Sitharaman proposed to withdraw outstanding tax demands up to Rs 25,000 in disputed cases pertaining to the financial year 2009-10 and up to Rs 10,000 from FY2010-11 to FY2014-15. She said it will benefit about a crore tax-payers and will help reduce the backlog of disputed tax cases significantly.

The decision comes as a big relief for people, especially senior citizens, who have been grappling with unresolved tax issues ahead of the new financial year and general elections this year.

Disputed tax is the income tax (including surcharge and cess) payable by the taxpayer in a financial or assessment year, as demanded by the tax department under the Income-tax Act, 1961. In 2020, the government launched the tax dispute resolution scheme “Vivad Se Vishwas 2020” in an effort to address the pending income-tax-related cases through this initiative, where the taxpayer only needs to pay the disputed tax to settle the matter.

This means the taxpayer is only required to pay disputed the disputed tax amount, without interest and penalty. Anyone facing a tax demand can pay the tax liability raised to settle the matter. The Income-tax department will pass a conclusive order when payment is made and the matter is settled. The immunity from interest and penalty in a disputed case is a notable benefit.

Also Read: Do Types Of Residential Houses Determine Property Tax? Are There Any Rebates For Seniors?

To alleviate the burden of such issues, the finance minister announced the relief.

She stated, “In line with our government’s vision to improve ease of living and ease of doing business, I wish to improve taxpayer services. There are a large number of petty, non-verified, non-reconciled, or disputed direct tax demands, many of them dating as far back as the year 1962, which continue to remain on the books, causing anxiety to honest taxpayers and hindering refunds of subsequent years”, she said.

Commenting on the decision, Anupama Bhargava, a Certified Financial Planner and Partner at Beekay Taxation & Investment LLP, said, “This will result in relief to a large number of taxpayers stuck with such unresolved and disputed tax demands.”

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