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Taxpayers nudged to opt for Vivaad Se Vishwas scheme

The income tax department is asking companies and individuals engaged in tax disputes to settle cases under the Vivaad Se Vishwas scheme even though the relevant law is yet to be passed by Parliament.
Tax experts said that the department is pushing taxpayers, including those based overseas, to settle but the government maintains that it’s only “encouraging” them to do so.
“It is seen from records that (there is) litigation pending between you and the department,” reads one such letter, a copy of which ET has seen. It asks the company concerned to contact the relevant officers in case it’s interested in availing of the scheme.
The Vivaad Se Vishwas (from dispute to trust) scheme was announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the budget presented on February 1.
“The tax department has become quite aggressive in pursuing revenues in wake of shortfall,” said Amit Maheswari, partner, Ashok Maheshwary & Associates LLP. “Enforcing pending tax demands by attaching bank accounts coupled with the drive to settle cases under the Vivaad Se Vishwas scheme is making life difficult for taxpayers.”
Maheswari said that appeals commissioners were delaying decisions on cases and instead asking taxpayers to settle under the proposed scheme.