CBDT notifies e-Settlement Scheme, 2021 for pending settlement applications

Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has notified an e-settlement scheme to settle pending Income-Tax settlement applications transferred to a settlement commission. The scheme will be applicable to the pending applications which have not been withdrawn by the applicant in pursuance to the option given by Finance Act, 2021 under Section 245M(1) of the Act and which has been allotted or transferred by Central Board of Direct Taxes to an interim board.

The proceedings before the interim board shall not be open to the public and all communications shall be through electronic means. Opportunity to be heard shall be provided by the interim board through videoconferencing or video telephony. Further, CBDT shall establish suitable facilities for videoconferencing including telecommunication application software that supports video telephony at such locations as may be necessary.

Prior to the above notification, CBDT had in September allowed eligible taxpayers to file their income-tax settlement claims before the Interim Board for Settlement on certain conditions. Relief was given to the taxpayers who were eligible to file application as on January 31, 2021, but could not file the same due to cessation of Income Tax Settlement Commission as per the Finance Act 2021, and were hence permitted to submit the applications by September 30, 2021 before the interim board. CBDT had said a taxpayer should have been eligible to file application for settlement on January 31, 2021 for the assessment years for which the application is sought to be filed and all relevant assessment proceedings of the taxpayer remain pending as on the date of filing the application for settlement

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