A big record 87.5 per cent eligible taxpayers have opted for Sabka Vishwas Scheme, 2019. However, a large number of taxpayers, almost 12.5 per cent, of the total eligible taxpayers under this scheme are yet to make up their minds to avail the benefits, as the Scheme comes to close finally on 15th January, 2020.
Till now 1,61,214 taxpayers ( about 87.5%) out of the total 1.84 lakh eligible taxpayers have already availed the Scheme. These taxpayers have declared tax dues of around Rs. 79,968 crore and after availing the various reliefs and amnesty as per the rules of the Scheme, they would pay around Rs. 35,094 crore. However, only 23,000 (about 12.5%) eligible taxpayers have not yet applied under the Scheme. These mainly include the large taxpayers and in 7,100 such cases, a total tax amount of Rs.1.7 lakh crore is under litigation. The vast majority of the smaller taxpayers have already opted for this Scheme.
Finance Ministry sources said its officers are pursuing taxpayers to avail the scheme before January 15 as it would not be extended further. They are explaining the never before, never again’ offer and benefits of the Scheme to the remaining taxpayers and pursuing them to apply under the provisions of the Scheme. Availing the scheme is not an admission that the declared tax liability was evaded or not paid in the first instance.
The taxpayers have not yet opted for the Scheme due to many reasons. One probable reason could be the vast array of intermediaries including tax consultants, lawyers, etc. whom they rely upon.
For most obvious reasons, the immediate settlement of these long pending cases is not seen in the best interests of these intermediaries.