ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tax Bar Association (PTBA) has strongly recommended the Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb to remove an ‘anti-lawyer’ slogan from the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) Tajir Dost Scheme’s “announcement”.

In this regard, the PTBA has written a letter to the Finance Minister.

According to the PTBA’s communication to the FBR, the bar is writing this letter in a lot of stress and menial agony on behalf of the tax lawyers’ fraternity in respect of the Tajir Dost Scheme’s “Announcement”.

The PTBA and its member bars have always stood side by side with the FBR and the government in any documentation drive, the implementation of tax laws and of amnesty for the collection of tax to the exchequer of Pakistan.

Businessmen reject ‘Tajir Dost’ scheme

After seeing such announcements, the bar is of the view that FBR is putting the blame on members of tax bar association by narrating that “Registration key liye kisi ko fees denay ya kisi wakeel ki koi zarorrat nahi” which is giving a negative message that lawyers are the primary hurdle in implementation of any scheme including the Tajir Dost Scheme, the bar said.

The bar stated that it is the fundamental right of an individual to engage a lawyer for legal assistance at such fee as mutually agreed upon. Without mentioning that section 223 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 clearly specifies the authorised representatives to represent the taxpayer before the FBR and the appellate forums as well, similarly Order-III of the Civil Procedure Code also recognizes representation of a party through a lawyer.

Therefore, the FBR cannot exclude lawyers from any scheme if a party on its own accord is desirous of acquiring the services of a lawyer.

The association has recommended that the said “Announcement” mentioned should be immediately removed so that the government and FBR are not seen to be marginalising any profession just for the sake of their own publicity drive which has no substance and it may adversely affect the outcome of the scheme and jeopardize its expected results, the PTBA added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024


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