On August 13, 2019, the Ahmedabad bench of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) cleared a total of 628 appeals amounting about Rs.350 crore. The appeals were filed by assessing officers questioning the tax relief provided by the commissioner of the income tax department.
Recently, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had declared a rise in the threshold amount for filing appeals in ITAT, high courts, and the Supreme Court as an action plan to reduce the number of litigations.
The monetary limits were raised from Rs.20 lakh to Rs.50 lakh to file appeals in ITAT, from Rs.50 lakh to Rs.1 crore in high courts, and from Rs.1 crore to Rs.2 crore in the Supreme Court.
The Ahmedabad bench consisted of Justice P P Bhatt, President, ITAT and Pramod Kumar, Vice-President, ITAT. Justice Bhatt stated during the judgement that when a commissioner grants a tax relief of up to Rs.50 lakh to a taxpayer, it cannot be challenged before the tribunal.
He added that the relaxation in the limit is appreciable and shows the trust placed by the government in the decisions of appellate forums. It is also a great gamechanger in the time taken to finalise the appeals process.
An estimate shares that 5,000 such appeals are in the queue in ITAT across the country and it amounts to tax relief of about Rs.2,500 crore. All appellate tribunals are in the process of identifying and disposing of such appeals.
As of Ahmedabad tribunal, the ITAT proactively examined the pending appeals and flagged the ones for disposal before the litigants pointed it out.