NEW DELHI: The government is looking to settle tax disputes out of the court, which will boost the revenue and reduce the number of court cases.
The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal is exploring the possibility of arbitration and mediation as well as increasing the number of benches for faster disposal of disputes. “In informal discussion (with the government), we have suggested that there should be some mechanism in the form of arbitration and mediation so that certain types of disputes can be taken care of,” said Justice (retired) PP Bhatt, president, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal.
The ITAT has already discussed this with both Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur and Central Board of Direct Taxes chairman PC Mody. This could help bridge the fiscal deficit gap and monetize a part of the amount stuck in tax litigation, they said. This comes at a time when the government is staring at slow tax collection.
An estimated 500,000 cases have been pending in courts and quasi-judicial forums for years. According to the estimates by tax experts, the total value of these disputes is pegged at Rs 7-8 lakh crore. Settling these dispute can give a major boost to revenue as well as reduce burden on courts.