The Income Tax Department on Saturday said it has relaxed various norms related to compounding of offenses under the IT Act and allowed compounding in cases where the applicant has been sentenced to imprisonment of up to two years.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued revised guidelines for compounding of offenses under the Income Tax Act, 1961 with reference to various offenses covered under the prosecution provisions of the Act.
“The scope of eligibility for compounding of cases has been relaxed, whereby in the case of an applicant who has been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than 2 years, which was earlier non-compoundable, is now made compoundable. The discretion is also available with the competent authority. suitably restricted,” the IT department said in a statement.
Also, the offense punishable under section 276 of the IT Act has now been made compoundable.
If the taxpayer fraudulently removes, conceals, transfers or distributes any person, any property or any interest, so as to prevent that property or interest from being attached to the collection of tax, then under section 276 Prosecution proceedings can be initiated.
Compounding allows a person to admit his guilt and pay a specified fee to avoid prosecution.
As per the revised guidelines dated September 16, the time limit for acceptance of compounding applications has been reduced to 36 months from the earlier limit of 24 months from the date of filing of complaint.
In addition, several provisions of the Act introduce specific upper limits for compounding charges covering defaults.
Additional compounding charges in the nature of penal interest of 2 per cent per month up to 3 months and 3 per cent per month over 3 months have been reduced to 1 per cent and 2 per cent respectively. PTI JD MR
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