Context: The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) has commenced today a series of Video Conferences involving regular interactive sessions to productively utilise the time available during the 21-day lockdown to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Background: The lockdown announced by the Government of India has made it practically difficult to work from offices and retain the same productivity levels as of normal working days.
Benefits: Generally sufficient time is not available to address issues of administrative, infrastructure, employees disciplining etc. Therefore, such interactions would help in achieving efficiency in administrative working.
Domain topics include Income Tax and allied laws, while non-domain subjects relate to better living viz., health, meditation, holistic wellness etc.
- Members of each station have been asked to have meetings amongst themselves on local issues relating to infrastructure and administrative problems.
Emerging issues scheduled to be deliberated upon include:
- General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) - likely issues arising from application of GAAR in assessments.
- The Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas Act, 2020 - expectations of and from ITAT etc.
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- It is a quasi judicial institution set up in January, 1941 and specializes in dealing with appeals under the Direct Taxes Acts namely, the Income-tax Act, 1961.
- The orders passed by the ITAT are final, an appeal lies to the High Court only if a substantial question of law arises for determination.
- Starting in 1941 with six Members constituting three Benches - one each at Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta) and Mumbai (Bombay), the numbers of Benches have progressively increased and presently ITAT has 63 Benches at 27 different stations covering almost all the cities having a seat of the High Court.
- ITAT draws inspiration from its motto ‘Nishpaksh Sulabh Satvar Nyay’, which means impartial, easy and speedy justice.