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India

Stop coercive action until amnesty scheme declared: Gujarat Sales Tax Bar Association

The letter was in reaction to a representation made by several members, who claimed that the tax authorities had begun the process of recovering the dues by attaching their bank accounts

The Gujarat Sales Tax Bar Association has written to the special commissioner of state tax- GST to wait for the clarity on Amnesty Scheme for defaulters before taking any coercive action including attachment of bank account.

The letter was in reaction to a representation made by several members, who claimed that the tax authorities had begun the process of recovering the dues by attaching their bank accounts.

In this regard, the tax authorities on September 4 had sent a letter to the Nutan Nagarik Sahakari Bank Ltd, informing the bank that the account of one of its clients Gita Steel Furniture will be attached. The company was a defaulter and owed the department Value Added Tax of over Rs 35 lakh.

In his letter, Snehal Thakkar, the Secretary of the Sales Tax Bar Association said that it had been brought to their notice that several of their members had received notices of their bank accounts being attached for repayment of pending taxes before GST came into force.

The letter further said that in the July budget the Gujarat government had announced an amnesty scheme for such defaulters and it was to be launched by August 15.

“But the announcement of the scheme has been delayed. A representation was also made to the chief minister of state Tax SGST PD Vaghela, who had also directed the government officers not to take any coercive action until the declaration of the Amnesty Scheme,” said the letter. 

The amnesty scheme is called the Samad han Yojana that proposed to fast track over 20,000 pending tax litigations, most of which pertained to Value Added Tax and other such taxes before the Goods and Service Tax came into effect.

Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel announced the scheme during the budget, wherein if outstanding amount of tax was paid during the period of the scheme it would enable the defaulter to get liberal relief in interest and penalty.

Business with demand less than Rs 100 crore could avail the scheme which was to be in force for six months beginning August 15, 2019.

The scheme was introduced after the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and other business bodies sought such a scheme to clear the backlog of pending tax dues.

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