The Income Tax Settlement Commission is a premier Alternative Dispute Resolution body set up by the Government of India to resolve tax disputes between Income Tax Department and taxpayers.
This Institution was set up in 1976 on the recommendations of the Direct Taxes Enquiry Committee (1971) headed by Justice K.N. Wanchoo, retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, which proposed creation of a mechanism under which a tax defaulter may be provided a once in a life time opportunity to come clean and make clean breast of his affairs. At present apart from the principal Bench, which is situated at New Delhi there are six more Benches of the Commission located at New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. The Benches of the Commission are manned by officers with a long and wide ranging experience in resolution of tax disputes.
The settlement mechanism allows the taxpayers to disclose additional Income before the Commission over and above what has been already disclosed before the Income tax Department. The applicant has to pay full amount of tax and interest on the additional income disclosed before the Commission before filing the application. The Commission then decides upon the admissibility of the application and in case of admitted applications, it carries out the process of settlement in a time bound manner providing the required opportunity to both parties.
Under the existing laws, the Commission is required to pass the settlement order within 18 months of filling of the application. As the commission has wide power of granting immunity from penalty and prosecution under the Income tax Act, the orders passed by the Commission are final and conclusive. The Settlement Commission is thus able to provide a quick and final resolution of all the tax disputes in a given case thus saving the taxpayer from protracted litigation. The resolution of tax disputes under settlement proceedings also helps in reducing the pressure on the Income tax department’s manpower resources and in collection of tax dues in a time bound manner.
At present the benefit of the settlement mechanism can be availed by a taxpayer only once in life-time.
Shri Shailendra Handa hails from Delhi and has done B.Sc(Hons.)Botany and LLB from University of Delhi. He joined Indian Revenue Service in 1980 and has worked in the Income Tax Department at various levels in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Allahabad, Nagpur, Pune and Delhi. He has spent substantial time in the Department in the spheres of Assessment, Tax Administration, Appeals, Investigation Wing and Training. Worked as Chief Commissioner at Pune and Ahmedabad before joining the Income Tax Settlement Commission in December, 2015. He has been an active sportsman all through his career and in addition to playing a number of outdoor/ indoor games, he has officiated many times as a first class Cricket Umpire, on the panel of BCCI. He continues to play competitive Bridge upto National Level.
A.K Sinha – Joined IRS in 1979,Worked at different places like Chennai, Bihar, U.P(Kanpur and Agra) Delhi, Shillong and Guwahati.
On deputation in Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Govt. of India at Delhi.Represented Country in various bilateral and Multilateral talks in Israel, South Africa, Germany and France etc.Attended World Bank Conference at St. Petersburg(Russia) and Marseille (France) relating to Tax Policy.Worked in CBDT for Six and a half years.
Retired as Pr. CCIT Delhi.Hobby – Sports, Particularly Golf.
Hails from : Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
Educational Qualification: B.A. Hon. (Utkal University), M.A. & M. PHIL (Delhi University), LLB Degree (Bombay University).
Joined Indian Revenue Service in the year 1980.
Work Experience: Worked in various capacities from Income-tax Officer to Commissioner of Income Tax in the areas of Assessment, Recovery, ITAT, Audit, Appeals, Administration and Public Relations.
Promoted as Chief Commissioner of Income- tax in the year 2013 and posted to Kolkata as Chief Commissioner of Income- tax- V. Thereafter posted as Chief Commissioner of Income- tax- IV and also held additional charge of Chief Commissioner of Income- tax (TDS).
Transferred and posted as Chief Commissioner of Income- tax , Odisha towards the end of 2014. Resigned from the said post in December, 2015.
Joined as Member, Income-tax Settlement Commission, Additional Bench- I, Mumbai on 07.12.2015.
Hobbies: Classical and old Music (both Indian & Western), and travel to Exotic & Pristine destinations within and outside India.
Shri Sudhir Kumar joined the Indian Revenue Service in the year 1981. He completed his B.Sc (Hons.) in Physics from Patna University. Thereafter, he joined BARC (Bhabha Atomic Research Centre). Before coming to IRS, he was in Indian Forest Service. He worked in various capacities in Income Tax Department till 16th March, 2016 at places like Asansol, Durgapur, Kolkata, and Mumbai. He has served in Income Tax Settlement Commission, Kolkata Bench earlier during the period 2004-2008 in the capacity of Secretary / DI. He held the post of Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Allahabad for more than two years before joining the Income Tax Settlement Commission, Mumbai. He has attended the Mid Career Training Programme at IIM, Bangalore, IIM, Ahmedabad, Maryland University, and Harvard University during this tenure as Commissioner of Income Tax / Chief Commissioner of Income Tax.
Shri S.M. Ashraf, born in 1957 at Sitapur belongs to Marehra, District Etah (U.P). He did his B.A. (Hons.) and M.A. (Urdu) securing the first position with First Division -both in B.A. and M.A. – from Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. Shri Ashraf joined the Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax) in the year 1981. He has worked as Assistant, Joint as well as Additional Commissioner of Income Tax at various places like Agra, Aligarh, Kanpur, Mumbai from 1983 to 2001. He was promoted as Commissioner of Income Tax, Aligarh in 2001, and after a successful tenure of 5 years, he got posted at Delhi and worked as CIT(A), CIT(Salary) and Commissioner of Income Tax, (Central Charge), New Delhi. After promotion to the post of Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (Higher Administrative Grade), Shri Ashraf held the charges of various corporate and non¬corporate regions of Kolkata including the charges of CCIT (TDS) and CCIT, Shillong.
Shri Ashraf has been awarded a Trophy in the presence of the then Chairperson of CBDT for achieving collection target in the whole region in 2005. Importantly, in 1998, he auctioned properties of Dauood Ibraheem, notorious underworld don, at Mumbai. He delivered lecture in Urdu Festival organized by the University of Virginia, U.S.A. in 2008.
He has written a number of book(s)/novel(s) in Urdu amongst them is Baad-e-Saba Ka Intizar (Stories), 2000 (a Sahitya Akademi Award Winning Book). Shri Ashraf has achieved various awards and Trophies. The novel “Number daar ka Neela” written by him has been adjudged in 2002 as one of the best Urdu novels of the 20th century. Several scholars have done research work of M. Phil and Ph. D on his short stories and novels at various Central Universities of India and abroad. In February, 2016, he was awarded the Excellence award by Central Revenue Sports Board. After taking voluntary retirement from the post of Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Shri Ashraf joined the Income Tax Settlement Commission, Addl. Bench, Kolkata as Member on 11.03.2016.
Smt. Gunjan Misra was born on 29th September 1956 at Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. After completing her education from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, she did her Post Graduation in ECONOMICS from Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi in 1979. She joined the Indian Revenue Service in 1979 and held different positions in the Income Tax Department at various cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Nasik, Bangalore, Muzaffarnagar, etc. She was posted as Chief Commissioner, Surat, Nagpur and Pune. She retired as Principal Director General of National Academy of Direct Taxes, Nagpur (a premier training institute of Indian Revenue Service), administering and managing 10 Regional Training Institutes and 40 Ministerial Staff Training Units functioning in various parts of the country. She joined as Member in Income Tax Settlement Commission, Delhi on 15th November 2016 and became Vice Chairperson on 19th July 2017.