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ISLAMABAD: All benches of Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue (ATIR) across Pakistan and Benami Tribunal have become dysfunctional from Thursday (Jan 26).

In this connection, the ATIR Islamabad issued instructions to all benches of the ATIR on Wednesday.

The first independent forum available to taxpayers to file appeals against the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has now become dysfunctional till further orders.

According to the ATIR Islamabad (Headquarters) circular, due to the sudden death of the Chairman of ATIR all the benches of ATIR Pakistan will be nonfunctional with immediate effect till the appointment of Chairman ATIR or till further order, it added.

ATIR directs FBR to return ‘illegally recovered’ money to taxpayer

Keeping in view the seriousness of the situation, President Lahore Tax Bar Association Muhammad Nauman Yahya has approached the federal secretary Ministry of Law and Justice to immediately appoint a new chairman of the ATIR.

According to the Nauman Yahya communication to the Law Division, due to the sudden death of the Chairman of ATIR all the benches of ATIR Pakistan are nonfunctional as per the circular dated 25/01/2023 issued by the ATIR. The LTBA has serious concerns about the nonfunctional ATIR as the department is creating harassment to the taxpayer by attaching the bank accounts and withdrawing impugned income tax demand from the banks.

He stated that the LTBA is also receiving complaints from its members that tax officials are also attaching moveable and immovable properties of the taxpayer. The ATIR always played an important role to safeguard the taxpayer from tax authority as ATIR is the first independent forum for the taxpayer, the president LTBA stated.

Keeping in view the situation, it is requested to immediately appoint a Chairman for ATIR and for Benami Transaction Tribunal at earliest, Yahya added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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