PTBA Urges FBR for Efficient Tax Jurisdiction Processes

PTBA Urges FBR for Efficient Tax Jurisdiction Processes

Karachi, February 10, 2024 – The Pakistan Tax Bar Association (PTBA), apex tax bar of the country, has called on the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to optimize the transfer process of tax cases to their correct jurisdictions.

The PTBA emphasizes that this enhancement would not only save time and money but also align with constitutional guarantees, making it a pivotal aspect of due process of law in Pakistan.

In a formal communication to the FBR chairman, the PTBA underscores the constitutional significance of jurisdiction and highlights that initiating any proceeding without proper jurisdiction renders it null and void, as reiterated by superior court judgments.

The PTBA points out the tendency of FBR field officers to overlook jurisdictional issues, proceeding with taxpayer assessments without adequately addressing their fundamental right to be assessed in the correct jurisdiction. This oversight, as the PTBA states, can render the entire process futile and nullify the taxpayer’s fundamental rights.

While commending the FBR’s efforts in re-transferring cases of builders and contractors to their respective jurisdictions, the PTBA raises concerns about the slow pace and time-consuming nature of the process. Despite ongoing efforts, the association notes that there are still pending cases awaiting transfer.

To expedite the transfer process and enhance transparency, the PTBA suggests the creation of a Jurisdiction Tab within the FBR’s IRIS web portal. This online platform would enable taxpayers to file transfer applications seamlessly, providing comprehensive details and reasons for the request.

The PTBA proposes a streamlined approval process, suggesting that chief commissioners of both the existing and correct jurisdictions should approve transfer applications within 15 days. In cases of delays, the applications should automatically escalate to the Member Operations of the FBR, who would render a decision within an additional 15 days.

“The approval of the same should be given by the Chief Commissioners of both the existing and correct jurisdiction within 15 days of the filling of the application, and the transfer should be made accordingly,” states the PTBA.

Should the 15-day timeframe lapse without approval, the application should automatically shift to the Member Operations (Ops) of the FBR, with notifications sent to the taxpayer. Member Ops would then decide the fate of the transfer within an additional 15 days. This systematic approach aims to provide ease to taxpayers and ensure they remain informed throughout the process.

The PTBA emphasizes that such an approach not only benefits taxpayers but also prevents potential losses to the exchequer. Courts consistently take a serious view of jurisdictional points, making it imperative for the FBR to address these issues efficiently and fulfill its core responsibility of providing relief to taxpayers.

The PTBA urges the FBR chairman to take prompt action and issue directives for the development of the Jurisdiction Tab in the IRIS web portal, aligning with the FBR’s commitment to automation and efficiency in tax processes. This step, the PTBA contends, will not only prevent losses to the exchequer but also ensure relief to taxpayers, fulfilling the FBR’s essential responsibility.