LAHORE, June 25: The Lahore High Court on Monday directed the Federal Board of Revenue chairman and the tax officials concerned to decide by June 30 the cases of alleged tax evasion by Bahria Town.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan issued the order on a writ petition filed by Advocate Shahid Jami seeking recovery of billion of rupees income tax allegedly evaded by Malik Riaz of Bahria Town.

The judge also directed the FBR chairman to furnish a report on the decisions about tax evasion before the high court registrar.

Earlier, Advocate Jami in his arguments said during audit of Bahria Town (Pvt) Ltd for tax year 2006, it was detected by the then officer in May 2009 that the Rs9.2 billion worth of land purchase expenses were not supported with evidence which attracted tax liability of Rs2 billion.

He pointed out that after bringing on record the discrepancy the tax officer was transferred and even subsequent officer refused the high-ups to drop the issue. The lawyer stated that later the case was assigned to a very junior officer who dropped the issue while concluding the audit.

He pointed out that the Bahria Town after 13 years of its operations was in net loss of over Rs120 million. He doubted the company’s loss saying an average ghee mill had declared more income and paid more tax than Bahria Town, a major real estate company of the country. Advocate Jami argued that the limitation for remedial action by additional commissioner under section 122(5A) of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 would expire on June 30, 2012.

During the course of hearing, FBR’s counsel objected to the jurisdiction of the court to hear the subject matter. However, the judge rejected the argument and issued directions to the FBR chairman and the tax officers concerned. — Staff Reporter

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