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The Bihar Settlement of Taxation Disputes Act, 2024 aims to resolve disputes arising from various taxation proceedings. Enacted against the backdrop of evolving tax laws, it offers a structured mechanism for settling disputes, ensuring efficiency and fairness. The Act covers disputes stemming from a range of tax laws, including the Bihar Finance Act, 1981, Bihar Value Added Tax Act, 2005, and others. It defines crucial terms like ‘dispute,’ ‘settled,’ and outlines the settlement amount calculation methodology.

Under Chapter II, the Act elaborates on settlement procedures. Parties can opt for settlement by paying the specified settlement amount, which varies based on the nature of the dispute. The Act provides clarity on deposit procedures, ensuring transparency.

Chapter III elucidates the application process, emphasizing compliance with prescribed forms and timelines. The prescribed authority evaluates applications, ensuring adherence to procedural requirements.

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Bihar Gazzete

The 15th March 2024

S.O. 67 Dated 15th March 2024—In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (3) of section 1 of the Bihar Settlement of Taxation Disputes Act, 2024 (Bihar Act 04, 2024), the Commissioner of State Tax hereby appoints the 15thDay of March, 2024, as the date on which the provisions of the Bihar Settlement of Taxation Dispute Act, 2024 (Bihar Act 04, 2024), shall come into force.

[(File No- Bikri-kar/vividh-37/2023-1318)]
By Order,
Dr. Pratima,
Commissioner State Tax-cum-Secretary.

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[Bihar Act 04, 2024]
THE BIHAR SETTLEMENT OF TAXATION DISPUTES ACT, 2024
AN
ACT

Preamble :- To provide for settlement of disputes arising from proceedings under Part I of the Bihar Finance Act, 1981 (Bihar Act 5 of 1981) [as it stood before its repeal by section 94 of the Bihar Value Added Tax Act, 2005 (Act 27 of 2005)],the Bihar Value Added Tax Act, 2005 (Act 27 of 2005), the Bihar Tax on Entry of goods into Local Areas for Consumption, use or Sale Therein Act, 1993 (Bihar Act No16 of 1993), the Bihar Taxation on Luxuries in Hotels Act, 1988 (Bihar Act 5 of 1988), the Bihar Entertainment Tax Act, 1948 (Bihar Act XXXV of 1948), the Bihar Tax on Advertisement Act,2007,[as they stood before their repeal by section 173 of the Bihar Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017(Bihar Act No. 12 of 2017)],the Bihar Electricity Duty Act.1948 (Bihar Act 36 of 1948)[as it stood before its repeal by section 23 of the Bihar Electricity Duty Act, 2018 (Act 4 of 2018)], the Bihar Electricity Duty Act.2018 (Bihar Act 4 of 2018) and the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956 (Act 74 of 1956), Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Bihar in the Seventy-fifth year of the Republic of India as follows:-

CHAPTER I
Preliminary

1. Short title, extent and commencement–

(1) This Act may be called the Bihar Settlement of Taxation Disputes Act, 2024.

(2) It shall extend to the whole of the State of Bihar.

(3) Save as otherwise provided, the provisions of this Act shall come into force on such date as the Commissioner of State Tax, by notification published in the official Gazette, appoint and shall remain in force for a period of six months from the said date:

Provided that the State Government may, by a notification published in the official Gazette in this behalf, extend the said period of six months by such further period, not exceeding six months, as may be specified in the said notification.

2. Definitions –In this Act, unless otherwise required in the context –

(a) “Act” means the Bihar Settlement of Taxation Disputes Act, 2024;

(b) “admitted tax” means the amount of tax admitted as being payable in the returns filed by the party under the law;

(c) “appeal” means an appeal under the law pending before the Additional Commissioner of State Tax (Appeal) appointed and having territorial jurisdiction under section 9 of the Bihar Finance Act, 1981, Part I or section 10 of the Bihar Value Added Tax Act, 2005;

(d) “arrear tax, penalty, interest, or fine in dispute” means,-

(i) tax, by whatever name called, payable by an assessee pursuant to an order of assessment, re-assessment or scrutiny or any other order made or passed under the law, or,

(ii) penalty imposed upon an assessee under any provision of the law, or,

(iii) interest payable by an assessee under any provision of the law, or,

(iv) fine payable by an assessee under any provision of the law;

(e) “dispute” means any proceeding by way of an appeal, revision, miscellaneous revision, review, reference or any petition in respect of any levy of tax, interest, fine or penalty pursuant to an order passed under the law, in respect of any period on or before 30th day of June, 2017, which is pending on the 31st day of January, 2024 before any authority or Tribunal appointed under the law or, as the case may be, the High Court or the Supreme Court; and it includes:

(i) any such levy in respect of which the full amount has not been paid into Government Treasury, or,

(ii) a proceeding for recovery of any tax, interest, fine or penalty, initiated by or pending before any authority appointed or prescribed or authorised under the law or the Bihar and Orissa Public Demand Recovery Act, 1914;

(f) “disputed amount”, in relation to a dispute, means any tax, interest, fine, or penalty which has been determined as being payble by the party pursuant to an order of assessment, re-assessment or scrutiny or any other order made or passed under the law;

(g) “law” means Part I of the Bihar Finance Act, 1981 (Bihar Act 5 of 1981) [as it stood before its repeal by section 94 of the Bihar Value Added Tax Act, 2005 (Act 27 of 2005)], the Bihar Value Added Tax Act, 2005 (Act 27 of 2005), the Bihar Tax on Entry of goods into Local Areas for Consumption, use or Sale Therein Act, 1993 (Bihar Act No.16 of 1993), the Bihar Taxation on Luxuries in Hotels Act, 1988 (Bihar Act 5 of 1988), the Bihar Entertainment Tax Act, 1948 (Bihar Act XXXV of 1948), the Bihar Tax on Advertisement Act, 2007, [as they stood before their repeal by section 173 of the Bihar Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (Bihar Act No. 12 of 2017)], the Bihar Electricity Duty Act.1948 (Bihar Act 36 of 1948) [as it stood before its repeal by section 23 of the Bihar Electricity Duty Act, 2018 (Act 4 of 2018)], the Bihar Electricity Duty Act, 2018 (Act 4 of 2018)] and the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956 (Act 74 of 1956);

(h) “party” means any person who is a party to a dispute under the Law and who files an application under this Act for settlement of any dispute;

(i) “prescribed” means as prescribed in the Rules made under this Act;

(j) “prescribed authority”, for the purposes of this Act, means authorities referred to section 10 of Bihar Value added Tax Act, 2005;

(k) “revision” means a petition for revision under the law pending before the Commissioner of State Tax appointed under section 9 of Part I of the Bihar Finance Act, 1981 or under section 10 of the Bihar Value Added Tax Act, 2005 or before the Tribunal consitituted under the law;

Bihar Settlement of Taxation Disputes Act, 2024

(l) “settled”, in relation to a dispute, means disposal and conclusion of the proceeding in relation to such dispute;

(m) “settlement amount” means the amount upon payment of which the dispute shall be settled;

(n) “statutory certificates/declarations” for the purpose of the Act means declarations and certificates mentioned under Rule 12 of the Central Sales Tax (Registration & Turnover) Rules 1957 and includes any form of declaration prescribed under any other rule framed under the law;

(o) “Tribunal” means the Commercial Taxes Tribunal constituted under section 8 of Part I of the Bihar Finance Act, 1981 or section 9 of the Bihar Value Added Tax Act, 2005;

(p) words or expressions not defined herein shall have the same meanings assigned to them under the respective law or the rules framed thereunder.

CHAPTER II
Settlement of Disputes

3. Settlement amount.– (1) Subject to other provisions of this Act, a dispute pending under the law may, on an application being made in this behalf by a party, be settled upon payment of the settlement amount as specified in column 3 of the Table appended herein below:

Table

Sl.No.

Dispute relating to Settlement amount
1 Arrear of tax on account of failure to furnish or produce any statutory Certificate or Declaration 100% of remaining balance amount of the arrear of tax in dispute, as reduced by the amount of tax involved in the value of Certificates/Declarations in the possession of the applicant till the date of application, or the amount already paid towards such arrear, whichever is higher;
2 Other Arrear of tax 35% of the arrear of tax in dispute or the amount already paid towards such arrear, whichever is higher;
3 For dispute arising out of an order levying penalty, fine or interest under the law 10% of disputed amount of penalty or interest or the fine, as the case may be, or the amount already paid towards such arrear, whichever is higher;

Explanation.— For the purposes of this sub-section, the expression “settlement amount” shall not include any payment towards any arrear of admitted tax and the party shall deposit the total amount of admitted tax.

(2) Where a party opting for settling a dispute, has deposited any amount in respect of the dispute, the said amount would be considered as payment towards settlement amount and the party will have to pay the difference amount only.

(3) Where a party opting for settlement of a dispute of tax, interest, penalty or fine has deposited any amount payable under any head through challan, and this amount is under the relevant Act in respect of the said dispute, then that amount shall be considered as payment for the settlement amount.

(4) No claim of refund of the party against the amount deposited in excess of the settlement amount for settlement of the dispute will be valid.

(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force but subject to the other provisions of this Act, any dispute in respect of which the amount specified in sub-section (1) has been deposited into Government Treasury, in the manner and within the time specified, shall be deemed to have been concluded and it shall not be continued by any authority or Court before which such dispute is pending.

(6) Upon an order of settlement of a dispute relating to –

(i) a revision petition pending before the Tribunal, or

(ii) a reference, or

(iii) a Writ Petition, or

(iv) a Special Leave Petition

being passed under Section 5 of the Act, the said revision, reference, Writ Petition or Special Leave Petition shall be deemed to have been disposed of in terms of the aforesaid settlement.

CHAPTER III
Manner of Settlement of Disputes

4. Application for settlement.—Any party opting to settle a dispute shall furnish to the prescribed authority, an application in such form and manner and within such time as may be prescribed.

5. Disposal of application .–

(1) No application shall be considered by the prescribed authority unless the application conforms to the requirements of Section 4 and the rules made thereunder.

(2) Every application furnished under section 4 shall be proceeded within such manner and within such time as may be prescribed.

6. Power to make rules. –

(1) The Government may by notification, make rules for carrying out the provisions of this Act.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section (1), the Government may make rules for all or any of the matters which are required or may be required by this Act or in respect of which provisions are to be made by rules.

Jyotiswaroop Srivastava,
I/C Secretary to the Government of Bihar.

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