Wednesday, May 08, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
The Tamil Nadu Sales Tax (Settlement of Disputes) Act, 2002, provides, as in the case of a similar scheme operated by the DMK Government from June 1 to September 30, 1999, for waiver of 50 per cent of tax in disputes but contains terms on penalty and interest which are apparently more attractive than what was provided for in the failed 1999 scheme.
Public sector undertakings, including oil companies, government companies or corporations and dealers in lottery tickets in respect of assessment years prior to April 1, 1996 have been excluded from the purview of the new scheme.
The Bill, which follows an announcement made by the Finance Minister, C.Ponnaiyan, in his budget speech, empowers the Government to appoint one or more authorities, referred to in Section 28 of the Tamil Nadu General Sales Tax Act 1959, ``designated authority''.
The authority will settle cases of applicants who seek settlement of arrears of tax, penalty or interest in dispute and where an appeal or revision was filed on or before February 28, 2002 but has not been ``finally heard'' by the appellate/revision authority.
The designated authority shall verify the correctness of the particulars furnished in the application and determine the amount payable as per norms: (a) where the amount relates to a tax in dispute, the settlement will be at 50 per cent of the tax in dispute; (b) where it relates to any tax and penalty in dispute, the settlement will be at ``fifty per centum of the tax in dispute and at 25 per centum of such 50 per centum of the tax in dispute" ; (c) where it relates to any penalty in dispute, the amount determined will be at 15 per cent of the penalty in dispute and (d) where it relates to any interest in dispute, the award shall be at 25 per cent of the interest in dispute.
The interest payable by applicants on the amount determined by the designated authority shall be ``25 per cent of the interest payable at the rate specified under the relevant Act'' and the same should be paid before the issue of a settlement certificate by the tax authorities.
The designated authority may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, refuse to settle a dispute after giving an opportunity for an applicant to show cause against refusal.
The Bill will come into force on a date to be notified by the Government.
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