India’s Finance Minister has, in her maiden Budget 2019, on 5th of July, proposed a dispute resolution cum amnesty scheme named the Sabka Vishwas (Legacy Dispute Resolution) Scheme, 2019.

The scheme in being introduced for the resolution of legacy disputes relating to central excise, service tax and cesses, all earlier subsumed in Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2017.

While providing relief from a percentage of tax dues (ranging from 40% to 70%), scheme also provides for waiver of penalty and interest. Additionally, the declarant would not be liable to be prosecuted for the matter.

It may however be noted that where the tax dues are payable on account of a voluntary disclosure by the declarant, no relief shall be available with respect to tax dues.

Meaning of ‘tax dues’ has also been elaborated in Finance (No.2) Bill, 2019 which also states that all persons shall be eligible to make a declaration under this Scheme except as enumerated in clause 124 of the Bill.

Further, according to clause 129 of the Bill, any amount paid under this Scheme cannot be paid through the input tax credit account and will not be refundable under any circumstances. The provisions also provide that such amount paid shall not be available as input tax credit.