CBDT Circulars On Prosecution Of Offenses And Compounding Of Offenses Under Direct Tax Laws

Circular No. 24 12019
F.No.2 85/08/2014-IT(Inv. V)/ 349
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
(Central Board of Direct Taxes)
*******
Room No. 515, 5th Floor, C-B1ock,
Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Civic Cent re,
Minto Road, New Delhi – ll 0002.
Dated: 09.09.2019

Subject: Procedure for identification and processing of cases for prosecution under Direct Tax Laws-reg.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes has been issuing guidelines from time to time for streamlining the procedure of identifying and examining the cases for initiating prosecution for offences under Direct Tax Laws. With a view to achieve the objective behind enactment of Chapter XXII of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (the Act), and to remove any doubts on the intent to address serious cases effectively, this circular is issued.

2. Prosecution is a criminal proceeding. Therefore, based upon evidence gathered, offence and crime as de fined in the relevant provision of the Act, the offence has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt. To ensure that only deserving cases get prosecuted the Central Board of Direct Taxes in exercise of powers under section 119 of the Act lays down the following criteria for launching prosecution in respect of the following categories of offences.

i. Offences u/s 276B: Failure to pay tax to the credit of Central Government under Chapter XII-D or XVII-B.

Cases where non-payment of tax deducted at source is Rs. 25 Lakhs or below, and the delay in deposit is less than 60 days from the due date, shall not be processed for prosecution in normal circumstances. In case of exceptional cases like, habitual defaulters, based on particular facts and circumstances of each case, prosecution may be initiated only with the previous administrative approval of the Collegium of two CCIT/DGIT rank officers as mentioned in Para 3.

ii. Offences u/s 276BB: Failure to pay the tax collected at source.

Same approach as in Para 2.i above.

iii . Offences u/s 276C(l): Wilful attempt to evade tax, etc.

Cases where the amount sought to be evaded or tax on under-reported income is Rs. 25 Lakhs or below, shall not be processed for prosecution except with the previous administrative approval of the Collegium oftwo CCIT/DG IT rank officers as mentioned in Para 3.

Further, prosecution under this section shall be launched only after the confirmation of the order imposing penalty by the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal.

iv. Offences u/s 276CC: Failure to furnish returns of income.

Cases where the amount of tax, which would have been evaded if the failure had not been discovered, is Rs. 25 Lakhs or below, shall not be processed for prosecution except with the previous administrative approval of the Collegium of two CCIT/DGIT rank officers as mentioned in Para 3.

3. For the purposes of this Circular, the constitution of the Collegium of two CCIT/DGIT rank officers would mean the following-

As per section 279(1) of the Act, the sanctioning authority for offences under Chapter XXII is the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner or Commissioner (Appeals) or the appropriate authority. For proper examination of facts and circumstances of a case, and to ensure that only deserving cases below the threshold limit as prescribed in Annexure get selected for filing of prosecution complaint. such sanctioning authority shall seek the prior administrative approval of a collegium of two CCIT/DGIT rank officers, including the CCIT/DGIT in whose j urisdiction the case lies. The Principal CCIT(CCA) concerned may issue directions for pairing of CCslT/DGIT for this purpose. In case of disagreement between the two CCITIDGIT rank officers of the collegium, the matter will be referred to the Principal CClT(CCA) whose decision will be final.

In the event that the Pr.CCIT(CCA) is one of the two officers of the collegium, in case of a disagreement the decision of the Pr.CCIT(CCA) will be final.

4. The list of prosecutable offences under the Act specifying the approving authority is annexed herewith.

5. This Circular shall come into effect immediatel y and shall apply to all the pending cases where com plaint is yet to be filed.

6. Hind version shall follow.
Encl: As above
(Mamta Bansal)
Director to the Government of India

Circular No. 25/2019
F.No.285/0812014-IT(Inv. V) /350
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
(Cent ral Board of Direct Taxes)
*******
Room No. 515, 5th Floor, C-Block,
Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Civic Centre,
Minto Road, New Delhi -110002.
Dated: 09.09.20 19

Subject: Relaxation of time-Compounding of Offences under Direct Tax Laws-One-time measure-Reg.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has been issuing guidelines from time to time for compounding of offences under the Direct Tax Laws, prescribing the eligibility conditions. One of the conditions for filing of Compounding application is that, it should be filed within 12 months from filing of complaint in the court.

2. Cases have been brought to the notice of CBDT where the taxpayer s could not apply for Compounding of the Offence, as the compounding application was filed beyond 12 months. in view of para 8(vii) of the Guidelines for Compounding of Offences under Direct Tax Laws. 2014 dated 23. 12.2014 or in view of para 7(ii) of the Guidelines for Compounding of Offences under Direct Tax Laws, 2019 dated 14.06.2019.

3. With a view to mitigate unintended hardship to taxpayers in deserving cases, and to reduce the pendency of existing prosecution cases before the courts, the CBDT in exercise of powers u/s 119 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (the Act) read with explanation below subsection (3) of section 279 of the Act issues this Circular.

4.1 As a one-time measure, the condition that compounding application shall be filed within 12 months, is hereby relaxed, under the following conditions:

i) Such application shall be filed before the Competen t Authority i.e. the Pr. CCIT/CCITIPr. DGIT/DGIT concerned, on or before 31.12.2019.

ii) Relaxation shall not be available in respect of an offence which is generally/normally not compoundable , in view of Para 8.1 of the Guide lines dated 14.06.20 19.

4.2 Applications tiled before the Competent Authority, on or before 31.12.2019 shall be deemed to be in time in terms of Para 7(ii) of the Guidelines dated 14.06.2019.

4.3 It is clarified that Para 9.2 of the Guidelines dated 14.06. 2019, shall not apply to all such applications made under this one-time measure. The other prescriptions of the Guidelines dated 14.06.20 19 including the compounding procedure, compounding charges etc. shall apply to such applications.

5. For the purposes of this Circular, application can be filed in all such cases where a) prosecution proceedings are pending before any court of law for more than 12 months . or b) any compounding application for an offence filed previously was withdrawn by the applicant solely for the reason that such application was filed beyond 12 months, or

c) any compounding application for an offence had been rejected previous ly solely for technical reasons.

6. Hind version shall follow.
(Mamta Bansal)
Director to the Government of India

DOWNLOAD: Download CBDT Circular No. 24 12019 and Circular No. 25/2019 dated 9th September 2019

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