The Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI) in association with Institute of Chartered Accountants - Hyd Chapter & The Andhra Pradesh Tax Bar Association organized interactive Meeting with Mr. Kamlesh Argal, IRS, Vice Chairman – Chennai Bench, Income Tax Settlement Commission on January 10, 2013 at Federation House, Red Hills, Hyderabad.
Ms. Nivedita Biswas, Director of Investigation Income Tax Settlement Commission, Mr. Devendra Surana, President, FAPCCI, Mr. K.C. Dev Das, Chartered Accountant, CA. Dayakar Gelli, Chairman- ICAI- Hyderabad Chapter, Mr. U L N Sudhakar, President, The A.P. Tax Bar Association, Mr. Srinivas Ayyadevara, Senior Vice President, FAPCCI, Mr. Abhay Kumar Jain, Chairman, Indirect Taxes Committee and Mr. Kalyan Das, Chartered Accountant also spoke at the occasion.
Mr. Kamlesh Argal, IRS, Vice Chairman, Income Tax Settlement Commission announced that Camp Office of the Bench of Income Tax Settlement Commission will be set up soon at Hyderabad for the convenience of Assessees of AP.
Mr. Argal stated that Settlement Commission is an independent body and it comes under Department of Revenue. The Income Tax Settlement Commission (ITSC) is an Alternate Disputes Resolution (ADR) mechanism for resolving tax disputes relating to Direct Taxes. At present, seven benches of the Settlement Commission are operational at New Delhi - 3, Mumbai -2, Kolkata – 1 and Chennai - 1, respectively.
The Commission was constituted w.e.f. 01.04.1976, on the recommendation of the Wanchoo Committee (1971). The Committee conceived the Commission as a mechanism for providing room for settlement and compromise for one-time tax evaders or unintending defaulters. The Commission reduces litigation in respect of an applicant for several years relating to proceedings of various natures, such as assessment, penalty, prosecution, tax collection, etc. Each such proceeding before an Assessing Officer of the Income Tax Department is appealable before Commissioner (Appeals) and later before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal and where it involves question of law, even up to High Courts and the Supreme Court.
Later in 1996, a review of the mechanism of the Settlement Commission was done by a committee led by Justice Duggal, which found that the Commission has been substantially successful in achieving the objects for which it was set up.
This commission comprises persons of integrity and outstanding ability, having special knowledge of and experience in, problems relating to direct taxes and business accounts.
The Settlement Commission consists of a Chairman, Vice-Chairmen and Members. However, the number of Vice-Chairmen and members in the Settlement Commission is decided by the Central Government. Prior to 1.6.2007, there was no time limit prescribed for the Commission for passing the settlement order. Now the time limit is 18 months in respect of applications filed after 1.6.2010. The Settlement Commission disposes of several proceeding for several assessment years in respect of an applicant conclusively within 18 months. Its orders are final and conclusive. In regular channel of assessment and appeal for each such proceeding, it may routinely take at least 5 years for each such proceeding to conclusively end.