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FBR plans early disposal of pending audit cases

Updated August 06, 2017

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Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is addressing a conference of Inland Revenue chief commissioners on Monday.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is addressing a conference of Inland Revenue chief commissioners on Monday.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s top tax machinery faces the task of disposing of more than half a million pending audit cases as well as 100,000 court cases involving billions of rupees.

Chief commissioners of Inland Revenue from across the country, who gathered in the federal capital for a conference, returned to their offices on Saturday with clear instructions to dispose of all these cases at the earliest.

An official source told Dawn the commissioners were given a patient hearing by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Tariq Pasha and Member Operation Khawaja Tanveer. Mr Pasha asked them to produce results by reducing the number of pending cases.

The commissioners were asked to step up efforts for the early disposal of audit cases. More than 500,000 audit cases of various kinds are pending at regional tax offices and large taxpayers’ units.

These audit cases are from 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

“We have asked them to clear audit cases at the earliest in the next couple of months,” the official said.

Audit cases for tax year 2016 will be selected in the next couple of months. More than 100,000 cases are also pending in various courts.

A senior tax official said the chief commissioners have been directed to select cases involving high revenues.

The government has set a revenue collection target of Rs4 trillion for 2017-18 which, analysts believe, is overambitious.

The FBR has also decided that people who are already paying taxes will not be harassed.

According to the official, the chief commissioners were given monthly and quarterly revenue targets. However, they were not happy with the decision.

An official statement issued after the meeting said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar chaired a session of the chief commissioners’ conference at the FBR to review the revenue collection performance in July.

The minister was told that the FBR surpassed the target for July.

Mr Dar commended the FBR for achieving the target and expressed hope that the trend will continue in coming months.

The finance minister appreciated the move to assign monthly, quarterly and annual targets beforehand. He said this will lead to better planning by field formations.

Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2017