Worried over mounting tax litigations, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday asked tax officials to avoid moving High Courts in case the question of law is not involved in the disputes.
“Normally my advise would be that if there be no point of law, if it’s a matter of fact, then I think with the two appeals at the commissioner’s level the department need not rush to the High Court if there be no point of law concerned,” Mukherjee said which addressing I-T officials here.
He said the Income Tax department should evolve a mechanism through which the disputes could be resolved.
“We cannot take away the right of taxpayers or equally the right of the tax collectors to get their due share.. Therefore some litigation would be there. It is unavoidable in case of disputes and divergence of view of interpretation of law. But please try to ensure that this should be as minimum as possible,” he said.
Mukherjee said about Rs 2.42 lakh crore in taxes is locked up in litigation before the CIT appeal, ITAT and High Courts.
“We must take appropriate steps to ensure that these cases are resolved as expeditiously as possible,” he added.
The government aims to collect Rs 5.70 lakh crore from direct taxes this fiscal.
Mukherjee said the net direct tax collection has risen substantially from Rs 1.05 lakh crore in 2003-04 to Rs 4.95 lakh crore in 2011-12 fiscal.
“While realising this targets, the tax officers must apply their skills…They are expected to collect revenue without rattling the tax payers, without causing any harassment, without causing any disturbance to the source of the revenue…,” he said.