Part III, Sixth Schedule of Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 has explained the procedure for the grant of approval to gratuity funds for treatment of income tax. by Commissioner Inland Revenue (IR).
Following is the text of Part III, Sixth Schedule of Income Tax Ordinance, 2001:
APPROVED GRATUITY FUNDS
1. Approval of Gratuity Funds. — (1) The Commissioner may accord approval to any gratuity fund which, in his opinion, complies with the requirements of rule 2 and may, at any time, withdraw such approval if, in his opinion, the circumstances of the fund cease to warrant the continuance of the approval.
(2) An order according approval or withdrawing approval shall take effect from such date as the Commissioner may fix.
(3) The Commissioner shall neither refuse nor withdraw approval to any gratuity fund unless he has given the trustees of that fund a reasonable opportunity of being heard.
2. Conditions for approval. — In order that a gratuity fund may receive and retain approval, it shall satisfy the conditions hereinafter specified and any other conditions which the Board may, by rules, prescribe –
(a) the fund shall be a fund established under an irrevocable trust in connection with trade or undertaking carried on in Pakistan, and not less than ninety per cent of the employees shall be employed in Pakistan;
(b) the fund shall have for its sole purpose the provision of a gratuity to employees in the trade or undertaking on their retirement at or after a specified age or on their becoming incapacitated prior to such retirement, or on termination of their employment after a minimum period of service specified in the regulations of the fund or to the widows, children or dependents of such employees on their death;
(c) the employer in the trade or undertaking shall be a contributor to the fund; and
(d) all benefits granted by the fund shall be payable only in Pakistan.
3. Application for approval. — (1) An application for approval of a gratuity fund shall be made in writing by the trustees of the fund to the Commissioner by whom the employer is assessable and shall be accompanied by copy of the instrument under which the fund is established and by two copies of the rules and, where the fund has been in existence during any year or years prior to the financial year in which the application for approval is made, also two copies of the accounts of the fund relating to such prior year or years (not being more than three years immediately preceding year in which the said application is made) for which such accounts have been made up, but the Commissioner may require such further information to be supplied as he thinks proper.
(2) If any alteration in the rules, constitution, objects or conditions of the fund is made at any time after the date of the application for approval, the trustees of the fund shall forthwith communicate such alteration to the Commissioner mentioned in sub-rule (1), and in default of such communication, any approval given shall, unless the Commissioner otherwise orders, be deemed to have been withdrawn from the date on which the alteration took effect.
4. Gratuity deemed to be salary. —Where any gratuity is paid to an employee during his life-time, the gratuity shall be treated as salary paid to the employee for the purposes of this Ordinance.
5. Liability of trustees on cessation of approval. —If a gratuity fund for any reason ceases to be an approved gratuity fund, the trustees of the fund shall nevertheless remain liable to tax on any gratuity paid to any employee.
6. Contributions by employer, when deemed to be his income. — Where any contributions by an employer (including the interest thereon, if any,) are repaid to the employer, the amount so repaid shall be deemed for the purposes of tax to be the income of the employer of the income year in which they are so repaid.
7. Particulars to be furnished in respect of gratuity funds. — The trustees of an approved gratuity fund and any employer who contributes to an approved gratuity fund shall, when required by notice from the Commissioner, furnish, within such period not being less than twenty-one days from the date of service of the notice as may be specified in the notice, such return, statement, particulars or information, as the Commissioner may require.
8. Provisions of the Part to prevail against regulations of the fund. —Where there is a repugnance between any rule of an approved gratuity fund and any provision of this Part or of the rules made thereunder the said rule shall, to the extent of repugnance, be of no effect and the Commissioner may, at any time, require that such repugnance shall be removed from the rules of the fund.
9. Appeals. — (1) An employer objecting to an order of the Commissioner refusing to accord approval to a gratuity fund or an order withdrawing such approval may appeal, within sixty days of the receipt of such order, to the Board.
(2) The Board may admit an appeal after the expiration of the period specified in sub-rule (1), if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from presenting it within that period.
(3) The appeal shall be in such form and shall be verified in such manner and shall be accompanied by such fee as may be prescribed.
10. Provisions relating to rules. —(1) In addition to any power conferred in this Part, the Board may make rules –
(a) prescribing the statements and other information to be submitted along with an application for approval;
(b) limiting the ordinary annual and other contributions of an employer to the fund;
(c) regulating the investment or deposit of the moneys of an approved gratuity fund;
(d) providing for the assessment by way of penalty of any consideration received by an employee for an assignment of, or the creation of a charge upon, his beneficial interest in an approved gratuity fund;
(e) providing for withdrawal of the approval in the case of a fund which ceases to satisfy the requirements of this Part or the rules made thereunder; and
(f) generally, to carry out the purposes of this Part and to secure such further control over the approval of gratuity funds and the administration of gratuity funds as it may deem requisite.
11. Definitions.—In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires, “contribution”, “employee”, “employer”, “regulations of a fund” and “salary” have in relation to gratuity funds, the meaning assigned to those expressions in rule 14 of Part I in relation to provident funds.
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