The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has introduced online hearing of tax audit and assessment cases.
“The FBR has launched the software of electronic hearing of tax audit and assessment cases to facilitate the taxpayers,” said a press release issued on Tuesday. “This has been done by enabling and functionalising the e-hearing module in FBR’s Iris portal.”
The module enables online hearing in the form of dedicated hearing rooms established in field formations and from the places of taxpayers.
E-hearing would be recorded and archived for further legal and administrative utilisation, it said.
In the first phase, the module has been launched and tested in the Large Taxpayers Office (LTO) Islamabad, Regional Tax Office (RTO) Rawalpindi, RTO Faisalabad and RTO Peshawar.
Online e-hearings through the dedicated e-hearing rooms and from the places of taxpayers have been enabled at these four premises.
In the second phase, e-hearings are being enabled and operationalised for all the remaining field formations.
The FBR has directed all the Inland Revenue chief commissioners to establish dedicated e-hearing rooms in their respective field offices by May 31, 2021. The module will allow the head office to join any hearing at any time without any prior notice for administrative appraisal of the system.
The release added that with introduction of the e-hearing module, the taxpayers would no longer be required to visit the offices for hearings and physical hearings in offices would be phased out completely.
Accordingly, no physical hearings will be allowed with effect from July 1, 2021 in any of the field formations and all hearings will be conducted through the e-hearing module.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 19th, 2021.