Govt’s Rs4.23tr stuck in court tax cases

Billions held up due to appeal stage delays

Our Correspodent April 21, 2024


Currently, there are 145,036 cases pending in various courts, in which tax cases involving an amount of Rs 4.23 trillion are yet to be decided.

Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) officials said at present 19,528 cases involving Rs740 billion were pending in four high courts.

They added that the Supreme Court had yet to decide 3,455 tax-related cases involving a sum of Rs1.40 trillion. A sum of Rs2.23 trillion belonging to the federal government is stuck because of tax disputes.

In addition, the government is also considering introducing legislation to abolish the offices of the FBR’s Inland Revenue appeal commissioner where cases involving an amount of Rs1.15 trillion were hit by delays.

Billions of rupees of the government have been grounded because of the delay in tax cases at the appeal stage.

Therefore, the government has started reviewing the proposal to do away with the offices of the Inland Revenue Appeal Commissioner through legislation.

According to sources, 19,899 cases in 35 offices are pending in the appeal stage because of which a sum of Rs1.15 trillion is stuck.

This situation has forced the government to review the proposal to shut down 30 of the Inland Revenue Appeal Commissioner's offices.

Legislation will soon be passed by parliament to close down these offices.

The sources said after the offices of the Inland Revenue appeal commissioner were shut down, their cases would be transferred to the tribunal where 71,664 cases of Rs2.23 trillion in tax disputes were already pending.

Currently, 145,036 cases are pending in various courts, in which tax cases involving an amount of Rs4.23 trillion are yet to be decided.

An officer of the Inland Revenue Service (commonly at BPS-19 or BPS-20) is appointed to the office of the commissioner (appeals). The commissioner (appeals) is a designated authority under federal tax laws and inevitably comes under the administrative control of the FBR.

Federal tax laws provide that any taxpayer aggrieved by an order passed by an Inland Revenue officer may appeal to the commissioner (appeals) through a prescribed form along with payment of the prescribed fee within 30 days.

The commissioner (appeals) may, on the application of the appellant in writing, condone a delay in the late filing of an appeal. They also issue notices of hearing to the appellant as well as the concerned Inland Revenue officer before deciding the appeal.

The laws empower the commissioner (appeals) to stay the recovery of tax demanded for a maximum period of 60 days in income tax appeals and 30 days in those related to sales tax and federal excise.


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