KARACHI: Pakistan Tax Bar Association (PTBA) has urged the tax authorities to allow time extension to taxpayers for making compliance in audit notices of tax year 2014.
In a letter sent to Ms. Nausheen Javaid Amjad, Chairperson, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Friday, the PTBA urged to grant an extension of time under Section 214A of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 to complete the amendment of assessment proceedings for the tax year 2014 in order to provide sufficient time to taxpayers for compliance of such notices issued by the department in the best possible interest of the taxpayers at large.
The apex tax bar said that it had been brought to the notice that the officers of Inland Revenue had initiated amendment of assessment proceedings by issuing various notices under Section 177/174/176/122 of the Ordinance, ibid in the last month of June 2020 to the taxpayers for the year 2014 as the said tax year is going to be time barred as on June 30, 2020 under Section 122(2) of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.
Furthermore, the said notice have been issued with a short margin of only 2-3 days for compliance (which is not possible) and the officers are also reluctant to allow sufficient time to the taxpayers and their respected authorized representatives to respond against the notices in order to finalize it till June 30, 2020 to achieve budgetary targets by the end of this month.
The tax bar said: “This, once again, put the credibility of the FBR officials in question as there were six years available to those officers to complete the assessment proceedings after filing of income tax returns for the tax year 2014 but the department has been slept over all this time and now suddenly awake just to show efficiency by issuing such vague notices in order to complete the proceedings before it gets time barred.”
The PTBA informed the FBR chairperson that it had been held in a number of judgments as well as many directions had been given from time to time by the board to the officials to provide sufficient time/opportunity to the taxpayers to defend their case and provide sufficient explanation before an adverse order is passed against them. “But this has not been adhered to in the prevailing situation as the officers of FBR are busy in achieving their budgetary targets as well as to show their efficiency at the end of the financial year.”
Hence, such notices issued by the department not only torment the taxpayers but also lacks confidence of the taxpayers / consultants upon the department, it added.
“Nevertheless, the current pandemic situation of COVID-19 prevailing all over the country where many of the businesses and areas are still in lockdown situation, the taxpayers are unable to reach their as well as FBR offices to respond such notices issued by the department in such a short compliance period.”