The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has given huge relief to taxpayers. In fact, the latest circular of CBDT states that criminal action will not be taken in cases of willful avoidance of payment of tax, non-filing of tax returns and non-deposit of TDS up to Rs. 25 lakh in government treasury. This means that such a case will not go to court. With this decision of CBDT, a large number of taxpayers will be able to avoid legal litigation.
This decision has been taken by CBDT at a time when recently Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asked not to show more strictness with taxpayers. In fact, Nirmala Sitharaman had tweeted in the past, ‘I have instructed the Revenue Secretary to take steps to ensure that honest taxpayers are not harassed and do not take serious action on those who have committed minor or procedural violations.
What Circular Says…
According to news agency PTI, the circular of CBDT has written that in the case where the tax deduction at source is not deposited (TDS) is less than Rs 25 lakh and there is a delay of less than 60 days from the due date. , It will not be prosecuted under normal circumstances.
However, in cases of habitual defaults, prosecution can be conducted with the approval of the Collegium of two Chief Commissioners or the Director General of Income Tax Department. In such cases action will be taken under Section 276B of Income Tax Act. It has been further told in the circular that in the case where tax is Rs 25 lakh or less for intentionally showing tax evasion amount or less income, then even criminal action will not be taken in them.