CBDT sets up high-level committee to decide retro tax cases

The Central Board of Direct Taxes today set up a high-level committee to scrutinise all Income Tax cases arising out of the retrospective tax amendment.

The four-member committee will be headed by the Joint Secretary of the Foreign Tax and Tax Research-I unit of the CBDT. It will decide on such cases within of 60 days of receiving them from the Assessing Officer.

It will be incumbent upon the AO to approach the committee when faced with an I-T case that is for the period before April, 2012.

The other members on the panel include Joint Secretary (Tax Planning and Legislation-I), the Commissioner of Income Tax Appeals and the Director (Foreign Tax and Tax Research-I), who will also be the Secretary of the committee.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced this new mechanism in his Budget 2014-15 speech on July 10.

According to the terms of reference for the new committee, it would, on receipt of the reference from the Assessing Officer "shall examine the proposed action of the Assessing Officer and after providing an opportunity to the assessee, take a decision on the proposed action".

In a notification, CBDT said: "The committee shall convey its decision in writing to the Assessing Officer with copy to the Principal Commissioner or the Commissioner concerned and the assessee."

The apex body of direct taxes system in the country said: "The committee shall endeavour to decide the reference within 60 days of its receipt by the Secretary of the committee. However, the committee shall have due regard to any limitation period involved in the proposed action."

An AO "shall seek prior approval" of the committee when faced with a situation that any income is deemed to accrue or arise in India before April, 2012 through transfer of a capital asset situated in India following the amendments introduced with retrospective effect, the notification said.

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