ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) has summoned Member (Legal) Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to appear in person before IHC, for violation of the order passed by IHC in tax recovery matters, by the field formations specifically Large Taxpayer Office, Islamabad.

When contacted tax lawyer Waheed Shahzad Butt told this correspondent that on the same issue Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has also summoned Member (Operations) FBR for not responding to specific tax-related queries regarding instructions issued by the FBR for attachment of bank accounts of power distribution companies (Discos, NTDC, and CPPAG) for tax recovery by field formations.

Sources told that a specific complaint has been lodged before the FTO after silence from May 5, 2023, to September 1, 2023, on the part of FBR for not clarifying a simple matter pertaining to avoidance of futile litigation at the cost of taxpayer money in courts. Some FBR’s field formations are violating instructions issued by FBR in the attachment of bank account of Discos, NTDC, and CPPAG in recovery measures and circular bearing C. No 6 (21) S (IR-Operations)/ 2017/ 35481-R dated 20.03.2017, have been ignored and violated by the field formations.

IHC order states: “Petitioner is aggrieved of the recovery of tax under Section 140 without issuing a notice under Section 138(1), which learned counsel submits is a clear violation of the settled law on the subject including by a recent judgment in WP no. 2622/2022. The parties are directed to file their statements of costs of litigation before the next date of hearing.

“The associate counsel states that he has been appointed as counsel by the respondent FBR only yesterday, and an adjournment request is therefore made.

The adjournment request is allowed with the observation that no further adjournment request will be entertained except on payment of costs of Rs.10,000/- on the next date and further escalating costs thereafter. Further, in view of the pattern of wilful disregard of a judgment of this court, it is necessary to hear the Member (Legal) of FBR also, who is therefore directed to appear in person on the next date of hearing. Re-list on 02.11.2023.”

Matter was communicated to the FBR vide email dated 05.05.2023 followed by reminders dated 09.08.2023 and 28.08.2023, but all in vain, nobody at FBR is ready to accept their professional obligation to perform duties in accordance with Section 206, the FBR Act, 2007 read with Article 4 and 5 of the Constitution, Waheed Butt added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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