ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court expressed concern over no final decision by high courts on supertax on high-earning persons imposed vide Section 4C of Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, despite the fact enough time was given.

A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, and comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Irfan Saadat, on Tuesday, heard 167 petitions of the Commissioner Inland Revenue and various taxpayers. A number of taxpayers challenged the constitutional vires of the amended Section 4C for the tax year 2023.

Dr Shah Nawaz appeared on behalf of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). Justice Mansoor inquired from him whether the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had decided the matter finally. The FBR lawyer replied that the Intra-Court Appeals (ICAs) are pending before the Lahore High Court (LHC) and the IHC. The IHC will take up ICAs on May 28, he added.

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Justice Mansoor said: “We have been showing courtesy and if by [the] next date (June 10), the High Courts would not pass the final verdict then we shall proceed with the matter.” He also said; “We (the SC) don’t regulate the High Courts; therefore,[this court is] showing courtesy.”

Justice Irfan said the apex court’s judgment would be “judgment in rem” and its effect would be on all the parties.

The bench while directing the SC office to send this order to the High Courts (LHC and IHC) in order to sensitise them, adjourned the case until 10th June.

A three-member bench of the apex court on February 27, 2024, while setting aside the interim orders passed by a single bench of the IHC, had directed the court to pass a speaking order within one month.

A single judge bench of Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan, on March 15, declared that the impugned amendment has no retrospective application for tax year 2023 or for any period prior to the date of promulgation of the impugned amendment; It also ordered that a direction is accordingly issued to the respondent Federal Board of Revenue to issue an administrative instruction under section 214(1) of the Ordinance to all inland revenue officers subordinate to the FBR to apply the Impugned Amendment prospectively only and, while doing so, to read down and apply section 4C in terms of the Fauji Fertiliser judgment; It said that the impugned amendment is valid and legal to the extent super tax becomes payable thereunder as advance tax under Section 147 of the Ordinance; provided that, super tax shall remain to be computed in accordance with the Fauji Fertiliser judgment even when payable as advance tax.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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Aamir Apr 24, 2024 08:13am
Making money is a crime in Pakistan. Such taxes will force the super rich to move to other countries and invest there
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Imran Apr 24, 2024 08:48pm
Let this super tax exist and see how black economy flourishes in Pakistan
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Mubashir Munir Apr 24, 2024 11:15pm
Super tax is harmful for local businesses,we should encourage our own people to invest in Pakistan and should encourage local people to find foreign companies to make joint ventures in Pakistan
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