ISLAMABAD: The Fede­ral Board of Revenue (FBR) has restructured the provision for alternate dispute resolution (ADR) for making the committee more powerful to facilitate taxpayers.

A sales tax circular released here said the new procedures were notified to give more transparency to the process of members’ appointment of the ADRC, giving more power and recognition of the decisions of the committee.

Moreover, it is now optional for the taxpayers to withdraw appeal which is pending before any other forum of appeal. The new procedures will cover both sales tax and federal excise.

The dispute will relate to the liability of tax against the aggrieved person, admissibility of refunds, waiver of default surcharge and penalty, and any other specific relief required.

The FBR will appoint a committee comprising chief commissioner Inland Revenue Service (IRS), two persons from a panel notified by the board and will communicate its appointment to a court of law or the appellate authority.

The committee will examine the issue, conduct an inquiry, seek expert opinion, direct any officer of the IRS or any other persons to conduct an audit and shall decide the dispute through consensus within 120 days of its appointment.

It may stay recovery of tax payable for a period not exceeding 120 days in aggregate or till the decision of the committee or its dissolution, whichever is earlier. The decision will be binding on the commissioner when the aggrieved person is satisfied it, has withdrawn the appeal pending before any appellate authority or the court of law and has communicated the order of withdrawal to the commissioner.

Decision of the committee will not be binding on the commissioner if the order of withdrawal is not communicated to him/her within 60 days of the service of the decision.

Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2020

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