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FBR using coercive measures: KTBA

Updated March 26, 2017

KARACHI: The Karachi Tax Bar Association (KTBA) has accused the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) of collecting excessive and undue taxes by resorting to coercive measures.

Addressing the annual dinner of the association on Friday, KTBA President Syed Rehan Hasan Jafri said tax consultants started facing problems in the beginning of 2017 when the FBR realised its revenue collection target was unachievable.

To meet its shortfall, the FBR started sending notices to taxpayers regarding the Workers Welfare Fund, income support levy and audit, he said.

The FBR has issued excessive notices of penalties for the late filing of withholding tax statements and tax audits, he added.

The KTBA president said the practice shows that the FBR is bent upon collecting undue taxes from taxpayers to fill up the national kitty. He called it a “serious offence” on the FBR’s part.

He said bar members face harassment during tax case proceedings. They face problems even at the first appellate forum because of harsh laws that are always interpreted against taxpayers, he said. In contrast, honest taxpayers are not getting any facility from the FBR, he added.

Penalties under Income Tax Ordinance 2001 are “extremely harsh,” he said while terming it a black law. Mr Jafri said punitive clauses include penal provisions under Section 182 for the late filing of withholding tax statements.

He said the tax bar wants the old penal provisions revived because the law is not meant to be used as a tax-generating tool.

The use of such punitive provisions by the FBR is increasing the trust deficit between taxpayers and tax collectors, he said.

FBR Member IT Nausheen Amjad was also present on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2017