ISLAMABAD: Rawalpindi Islamabad Tax Bar Association (RITBA) showed concerns over continued delay in announcing the decisions about tax cases involving Rs1,260 billion.
RITBA Vice President Ch Naeemul Haq, while talking with Customs Today, said that cases of Rs450 billion are pending in the Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue (ATIR) while cases involving Rs256 billion are awaiting a decision at the level of commissioners of appeals.
Ch. Naeemul Haq has said that the decision of the pending cases can help FBR raise much-needed revenue and restore the confidence of the business community. He said that income tax, sales tax and federal excise duty are called Inland Revenue and its litigation is dealt by commissioners of appeals; however, their decisions can be challenged at the ATIR.
Presently, ATIR cannot take the decision in the cases involving over Rs1 million due to absence of judicial members, he added. He informed that the ATIR Headquarter in Islamabad is working without two judicial members since long which is hindering its functionality.
Naeemul Haq said that the Lahore bench needs six judicial members, Karachi bench requires seven judicial members and Peshawar bench is deficient by one judicial member. The business community of Islamabad is worst hit as ATIR Chairman Shahid Masood Manzar Bhatti has to visit all the tribunals and the capital-based businessmen cannot get relief in urgent matters, he said.
The government should fill the vacant vacancies of judicial members as soon as possible so that things could be streamlined, he said. The business community is already facing a delay in payment of sales tax refunds of Rs400 billion, therefore, their tax cases should be settled on preferential bases.