New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that senior citizens dependent on pension and interest income have been exempted from filing tax returns by the Centre. While presenting the Union Budget 2021, Sitharaman said that the central government will reduce the time limit for reopening assessments to 3 years from present 6 years.

"To further reduce litigation for small taxpayers I propose to constitute a dispute resolution committee which will be faceless to ensure efficiency, transparency. Anyone with a taxable income up to Rs 50 Lakhs and disputed income up to Rs 10 Lakhs eligible to approach committee," the Finance Minister said, adding that the number of income tax return filers has increased to 6.48 crores now from 3.48 crores in 2014.

The Finance Minister also said that serious tax offences of concealment of income of over Rs 50 lakh can be reopened even after 10 years. She further announced to constitute a dispute resolution for small taxpayers that will be faceless to ensure efficiency, transparency and accountability.

"Presently an assessment can be reopened up to six years and in serious tax fraud cases up to 10 years, as a result, taxpayers have to remain under uncertainty for a long time. I, therefore, propose to reduce this time limit for reopening of assessments to three years from the present six years," she said.

"In serious tax evasion cases too, only where there is evidence of concealment of income of Rs 50 lakh or more in a year can the assessment be reopened up to 10 years. Even this reopening can be done only after the approval of the principal chief commissioner, the highest level of the income tax department," she added.

Sitharaman also proposed to make income tax appellate tribunals faceless and said that the government will set up a national income tax appellate tribunal centre. The Finance Minister also said that exemption from tax audit limit doubled to Rs 10 crores turnover for companies doing most of their business through digital modes.

(With ANI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma