Commissioner can hire translator for documents

Commissioner can hire translator for documents

Section 179 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 grants the Commissioner the authority to enlist translators for documents not in the Urdu or English language.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has incorporated this provision in the updated version of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, effective up to June 30, 2021, following amendments introduced through the Finance Act, 2021.

The verbatim text of Section 179 reads as follows:

179. Accounts, documents, records and computer-stored information not in Urdu or English language.— Where any account, document, record or computer-stored information referred to in section 174, 175 or 176 is not in the Urdu or English language, the Commissioner may, by notice in writing, require the person keeping the account, document, record or computer-stored information to provide, at the person’s expense, a translation into the Urdu or English language by a translator approved by the Commissioner for this purpose.

This provision addresses the challenge posed by documents that are not in the official languages of Urdu or English, commonly encountered in a diverse linguistic landscape. In such cases, the Commissioner is empowered to issue a written notice, requiring the individual responsible for the documents to arrange a translation into Urdu or English at their own expense.

Importantly, the translator enlisted for this purpose must be approved by the Commissioner, ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the translated content. This measure is designed to streamline the communication and understanding of financial information, accounts, records, and computer-stored data, facilitating the regulatory processes outlined in sections 174, 175, and 176 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.

This move by the FBR not only aligns with the broader goals of transparency and accessibility but also addresses the practical challenges arising from multilingual documentation. It provides a mechanism for regulatory authorities to comprehend and verify financial data accurately, ultimately contributing to a more effective and efficient tax administration.

As businesses and individuals navigate the complexities of taxation, the ability to interpret financial information becomes paramount. Section 179 not only acknowledges the linguistic diversity present in documents but also offers a structured approach to bridge language barriers in the context of tax compliance.

The FBR’s commitment to updating and refining the Income Tax Ordinance reflects its ongoing efforts to modernize and adapt to the evolving needs of a dynamic economic landscape. Section 179 stands as a testament to the regulatory body’s commitment to robust tax administration that accommodates the diverse linguistic landscape of the country.