Senate Panel Seeks Strict Action Against Taxmen
ISLAMABAD: A Senate panel on Tuesday recommended the government to sack taxmen who made exaggerated tax demands and then rejected appeals of taxpayers under pressure from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) headquarters.
The Senate Standing Committee on Finance gave the unanimous recommendation amid a sharp increase in tax assessment orders by the FBR against the taxpayers. This resulted in a 70% increase in litigation in relation to tax matters and the disputed amount jumped to over Rs3 trillion within eight months.
All those FBR commissioners who issued unjust tax demands or rejected appeals of taxpayers against these demands should be terminated, ruled the standing committee while showing its annoyance over what it called the “high-handed” manner in dealings with taxpayers.
Standing Committee Chairman Senator Talha Mehmood of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) assured the committee that he would get the recommendation adopted by the Senate to put more pressure on the government to accept the proposal.
For the last over one year, the FBR has been focusing on big cases to raise tax demands on suspicion that even the registered and those taxpayers filing tax returns were not fully discharging their obligations.
In 2018, the FBR had issued about 52,000 tax notices and raised tax demand for roughly Rs31.9 billion, said Talha while reading a document of the FBR. The number of tax notices increased to 87,000 and the demand surged to Rs1.8 trillion in 2020-21, he added.
The standing committee chairman said that tax recoveries were not matching the tax demands, suggesting that undue demands were made.