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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Wednesday directed the field formations to immediately clear payment of bills of the advocates on the panel of the FBR to avoid lapse of funds by June 30, 2021.

According to the FBR’s instructions to all Chief Commissioners Inland Revenue here on Wednesday, the chief commissioners should expedite disbursement of payment under the head ‘law charges’ and ensure timely payment of panel advocates’ bills after observing all relevant rules and regulations, so that the funds are not lapsed or surrendered at the end of financial year, the FBR added.

The FBR has already constituted 18 Alternative Dispute Resolution Committees (ADRCs) of sales tax, federal excise and income tax for resolution of tax disputes.

The FBR is making all out efforts to restore taxpayer’s trust by taking several steps including resolution of tax disputes through constitution of ADRCs.

The FBR has stated that the said mechanism, as part of out of court settlement and revenue mobilisation, has been mobilised to enable taxpayers to get their disputes settled in lesser time and without incurring litigation cost.

By virtue of major facilitative change introduced through Finance Act 2020, an applicant, in order to avail ADRC, is not required to withdraw his case pending before any appellate forum.

To make the process more transparent and trustworthy, the ADRC is composed of three members including Chief Commissioner-IR from the department’s side and notable chartered accountants/lawyers and businessmen from the private sector.

The committee is also empowered to stay the process of recovery in case of hardship. Taxpayer’s application has to be finalised by the Committee within a short period of 120 days, which in itself is a big relief, considering the usual time taken in various appellate fora before a case attains finality.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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