Ernst & Young’s National Leader for Indirect Tax, Harishanker Subramaniam recently interacted with media, and shared his opinion about how litigations are damaging country’s economy. He pointed out that litigations worth crores of rupees are pending in-front of various courts and tribunals. He also pointed out that Tax administration reform commission’s report clearly talks about solutions to solve litigations mess which the country is facing.
Harishanker Subramaniam shared the information that there are around 60,000 cases pending with the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal. Last year alone saw the entry of 8,000 new cases in the list of cases involving direct tax related disputes. He stressed on the point that the time consumed to resolve litigations is impacting business sentiments and is creating unattractive environment for foreign investors.
Ernst & Young’s National Leader further pointed out that most of the verdicts given by the courts were in favor of tax payers, and against tax officials. He shared his opinion that the mindset of people at the revenue department needs to change. They should show trust and collaborative nature to bring down the number of litigations. Cases should be disposed off as soon as possible instead of allowing them to escalate further to courts.
Harishanker Subramaniam suggested that there is an urgent need to increase forums like- Advanced Ruling Authorities, to avoid time consuming and expensive litigations. At present, there is only one such bench in Delhi, which is mostly non functional due to lack of resources.
During the last part of the interaction, Harishanker Subramaniam said that the executives at revenue department, and country’s political leadership should develop their will to introduce changes in the tax system.
By Nitten Gokhaley
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