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LAHORE: The Regional Tax Office (RTO) Lahore has recovered Rs32,839,961 during the first week of the current month, rigorously pursuing its recovery campaign against tax defaulters before the end of the current fiscal year, said reliable sources.

According to the sources, the recovery was made from 12 tax defaulters through attachment of their business bank accounts maintained in different branches of commercial banks. They added that the recovery of Rs1 million and above was made in some eight cases with top recoveries of Rs7.5 million in two different cases, Rs3.6 million, Rs2.8 million and Rs2.3 million. The cases of these defaulters also included Point of Sale (PoS) defaulters as well as tax arrears.

It may be noted that the RTO Lahore has also got three First Information Reports (FIRs) registered against bankers for hindering tax recovery from one of its account holders through freezing of account, said reliable sources. They said a show cause notice had also been issued to another banker for leaking the information to his account holder before freezing his account in the same month. The said account holder had transferred his deposits before the freezing of account. The RTO had issued taxpayer in default notice but the bank manager kept exercising dilly-dallying tactics unless the account holder succeeded in securing an injection order from the court of law. It was followed by criminal proceedings against the said manager on account of breach of trust, interference to the state function and fraud.

The Corporate Tax Office (CTO) Islamabad had also lodged an FIR for tax recovery in the federal capital about a month back, following the precedent set by the RTO Lahore. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had revoked in October 2021 the clause that made it mandatory for taxmen to warn defaulters 24 hours before freezing their bank accounts, which tax lawyers dubbed as harassment and a dent to ease of doing business. The field formations have been allowed to exercise the powers vested under SRO 274(1)/2020 dated April 2nd, 2020 and Section 48 of the Sales Tax Act, 1990 for recovery of outstanding demands.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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