The Delhi government is planning to implement a tax amnesty scheme in a bid to help traders from getting embroiled in unnecessary legal cases related to taxation and to recover pending demands which include outstanding tax, interest and penalty.
Officials said the exact details on concessions will be ironed one once the scheme is finalised.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia proposed the scheme on Saturday while presenting the ‘rozgaar’ budget. “Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our tax revenue was extremely low last year. However, tax revenue for the year 2021-22 showed a satisfactory increase as compared to the previous year. During the current financial year, up to February 2022, we have collected Rs 35,112 crore, an increase of 39% over the previous year (up to February 2021),” he said.
He said GST and VAT are major sources of revenue for the government. Tax collection for GST and VAT in the year 2021-22 (up to February 2022) stood at Rs 24,379.03 crore, with an increase of 41.90% over the previous year (up to February 2021).
To recover pending taxes, the government conducted a technical survey and found that an amount of about Rs 38.76 crore was payable. Of this, it has recovered Rs 26.57 crore. The pending demand of Rs 12.39 crore is expected to be recovered through the amnesty scheme.
In his budget speech, Sisodia said, “The government has taken many measures to facilitate taxpayers and increase revenue. In each tax ward, we have initiated monthly performance monitoring with 14 main key performance indicators (KPI) points. ‘Inspector Raj’ in the tax department has been brought to a halt in Delhi and only GST Analytics and Intelligence Network (GAIN) tools are being extensively employed for survey and scrutiny.”
The government also made e-invoicing mandatory for those taxpayers whose total turnover was more than Rs 50 crore in the financial year beginning April 2021.
Meanwhile, traders appreciated the government’s move and said the amnesty scheme will help them overcome losses they faced during the pandemic and will save them from legal cases.
“The pandemic hit business severely due to which many traders could not pay taxes on sale on time. But there was huge confusion, and several traders were issued notices over pending demands and corruption also increased a lot. The scheme will be beneficial and provide relaxation on interest and penalties,” said Sanjay Bhargava, president, Sarv Vyapar Mandal, Chandni Chowk.
Praveen Khandelwal, national secretary-general, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), said, “It will benefit traders but first we have to see the scope of scheme, the implications and what all would be covered under this, and what type of people and business will be covered, and see if it is a GST amnesty or VAT. Traders witnessed severe business loss during Covid…”
The ‘rozgaar budget’ largely focuses on boosting Delhi’s economy and creating 20 lakh jobs with priority given to 8 sectors – retail, food and beverages, logistics, supply, travel and tourism, entertainment, real estate, and green energy.