Islamabad: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Dr Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmad said Friday the FBR needed at least 130 Commissioners Inland Revenue (Appeals) against existing 30 Commissioners to timely decide all cases pending at the first level of appeal i.e. Commissioner Appeal.
The FBR chairman informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), on Friday, at the Parliament House that the FBR had to vigorously pursue cases in courts, particularly, Appellate Tribunals for recovery of the taxes, which was necessary for meeting the assigned revenue collection target for 2021-22.
The issue came to the light, when Ayaz Sadiq, member PAC said that the total amount involved in various cases of the FBR stood now at Rs1.8 trillion for 2019-20.
“Can we do legislation to bound courts for early decision of the tax-related cases,” he added.
Moreover, official of the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) stated that the FBR should vigorously pursue legal proceedings to ensure recovery of the Super Tax to the tune of Rs16 billion.
Dr Ahmad further informed that tax administration for disposal of cases in courts was a very serious and complicated issue.
Only legislation would not work as the courts have capacity issues as well, he said.
The Commissioner Appeal has to decide cases within the period of 60 days, in cases where stay has been granted.
This requires at least 130 Commissioners Appeals to decide all cases at the first level of appeals within the prescribed time period.
“I have taken up the matter with the Secretary Law to appoint Judicial Members of Tribunals for completion of benches for early disposal of cases at the level of tribunals. We need more members for recovery of huge amount stuck in tribunals,” the FBR chairman added.
Chairman PAC has directed the FBR and the AGP to settle paras or adult objections up to Rs10 million at the level of the departmental accounts committee to expedite settlement of audit issues of 2019-20.
He gave these directions to the AGP and the FBR during the meeting of the PAC, here on Friday for review of audit paras of 2019-20.
The AGP pointed short-levy of Super Tax of Rs16 billion from 123 banks and other companies during this period.
The department did not initiate any legal proceedings to levy of Super Tax due to weak monitoring of the collection of the Super Tax.
On the request of the FBR chairman, the PAC gave time period of two months to the FBR for speeding up the recovery process.
The officials of the Auditor General informed that recovery of Rs11 billion was pending from ghee and cooking oil manufactures, who had made supplies to the un-registered wholesalers and dealers.
The department was required to obtain details/names of the un-registered buyers from the ghee manufacturers for recovery proceedings.
The FBR chairman said that “we will approach all ghee and cooking oil manufacturers to obtain information of the unregistered distributors and wholesalers and inform the PAC accordingly.
The manufacturers have paid their due tax liability, but the issue is related to the collection of sales tax from unregistered distributors and wholesalers.
The estimated tax demand of Rs11 billion would be reduced to around hundred million.
“We have information about the registered distributors and wholesalers of ghee and cooking oil but we need more time,” he said.
The chairman FBR assured the PAC that the matter would be resolved in two months.
The FBR chairman said “we have taken action against officials involved in the cases of steel sector.”
These tax officials were involved in issuance of the exclusion/adjustment certificates to the steel units for not charging sales tax on power consumption against cheques, which were not deposited in the national kitty.
The FBR has initiated disciplinary proceedings against commissioners Inland Revenue, who issued exclusion/adjustment certificates to the steel units, but cheques were not deposited in the national kitty.
Notices were served to the commissioners Inland Revenue, who violated the law and caused huge revenue loss, sources added.
The steel units are using electricity for steel and iron products and required to pay sales tax as per rates specified in the Sales Tax Special Procedure Rules, 2007 (steel sector).
However, the department had issued exclusion/adjustment certificates of sales tax in which it was mentioned that the taxpayers have paid sales tax through various cheques, but it has not deposited the cheques in the national exchequer for which the department has issued the exclusion/adjustment certificates.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021