Over 1.38 lakh tax evasion cases pending in courts

The number of indirect tax evasion cases, the details of which were given in a reply to a Lok Sabha question, were 44,077 as on March 31.

Over 1.38 lakh cases of direct tax evasion are pending before the Supreme Court, High Courts and Income Tax Appellate Tribunals as on March 31, according to the latest data of the ministry of finance which was presented in Parliament last week.

Of 1,38,056 cases, the highest number of 92,766 cases are pending is in the Incime Tax Appelllate Tribunals, followed by 39, 066 in high courts and the remaining 6,224 in the Supreme Court. These also include the tax evasion cases by corporates.

On the direct tax side, those cases which are pending for more than five years in various courts are close to 10,000.

The number of indirect tax evasion cases, the details of which were given in a reply to a Lok Sabha question, were 44,077 as on March 31.

The oldest case refers to Ballarpur Industries Limited, Yamuna Nagar, which is pending since 1973.

The one-year-old Goods and Services Tax (GST) has 1205 cases of tax evasion filed in courts since its introduction in July last year.

The details of prosecution case filed for wilful attempt to evade taxes under section 276C (1) of
the Income-tax Act, 1961 during last 5 years since 2013-2014 are 1,133. The largest number of 542 cases were filed in 2017-18.

In order to reduce litigation, the government had last month increased the threshold limit for filing appeals in tribunals to Rs 20 lakh, while the same for high courts and the Supreme Court had been raised to Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore, respectively.

The Income Tax department has directed its field offices to withdraw by August 20 the appeals pending before tribunals and courts that are below the fixed monetary threshold “on priority” to enable the department to focus on high value litigations.

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Over 1.38 lakh tax evasion cases pending in courts

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