Recommendations For Prescribing Time Limit Of One Year For Disposal Of Petitions For Waiver Of Penalty And Interest Under Sections 273A, 273AA and 220(2A)

Whereas, a time limit of 1 year for disposal of a tax payer’s Revision Petition u/s. 264 has been prescribed, there is no such time limit for disposal of Petitions for Waiver of Penalty u/s. 273A and 273AA and Waiver of Interest u/s. 220, 234A/B/C. As a result, Petitions of tax payers on these points remain unattended to for long.

It is highly desirable that a similar time limit of 1 year from the end of the financial year in which the petition is filed should be prescribed in all such cases. For the purpose it is proposed that Sections 273A, 273AA and 220(2A) may be suitably amended and CBDT may issue suitable directions under Section 119(2)(a) providing for such time limit for disposal of petitions for waiver of interest under Sections 234A, 234B and 234C.

Accordingly, sub-section (4) is recommended to be inserted to Section 273A with effect from 1.6.2016 as follows:

“(4) Where any person has filed an application for waiver of penalty under this section, the order thereon, either accepting or rejecting the plea for waiver of penalty, in full or in part, shall be passed by the concerned Principal Commissioner or Commissioner within a period of twelve months from the end of the month in which such application is filed.

Provided that no order rejecting the plea for waiver of penalty either fully or partly under this section shall be passed by the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner, without granting the person who has filed such an application, an opportunity of being heard.”

Similarly, sub-section (4) is recommended to be inserted to Section 273AA with effect from 1.6.2016 as follows:

“(4) Where any person has filed an application for waiver of penalty under this section, the order thereon, either accepting or rejecting the plea for waiver of penalty, in full or in part, shall be passed by the concerned Principal Commissioner or Commissioner within a period of twelve months from the end of the month in which such application is filed.

Provided that no order rejecting the plea for waiver of penalty either fully or partly under this section shall be passed by the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner, without granting the person who has filed such an application, an opportunity of being heard.”

The Committee also recommends that following 2 provisos may be added below sub-section (2A) of Section 220 with effect from 1.4.2017:

“Provided that the order thereon, either accepting or rejecting the plea for waiver of interest either fully or partly shall be passed by the concerned Principal Commissioner or Commissioner within a period of twelve months from the end of the month in which such application is filed.

Provided further that no order rejecting the plea for waiver of interest under this Section, either fully or partly, shall be passed by the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner without granting the person who has filed such an application an opportunity of being heard.”

Source- Draft Report of Justice R.V. Easwar (Retd) Committee to Simplify the provisions of Income-tax Act, 1961

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