By Saeed Ahmed
Islamabad: Rawalpindi Islamabad Tax Bar Association (RITBA) on Saturday said continued delay in the decision about tax cases involving Rs1260 billion is hurting the government and the private sector.
Cases of Rs450 billion are pending in the Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue (ATIR) while cases involving Rs256 billion are awaiting a decision at the level of commissioners of appeals, it said.
The decision of the pending cases can help FBR raise much-needed revenue and restore the confidence of the business community, said Ch. Naeemul Haq, Vice President RITBA.
He said that Income Tax, Sales Tax and Federal Excise Duty is called Inland Revenue and its litigation is dealt by commissioners of appeals however his decisions can be challenged at the ATIR.
Presently, the ATIR cannot take the decision in the cases involving over one million rupees due to the want of judicial members, he added.
He informed that the ATIR Headquarter in Islamabad is working without two judicial members since long hindering its functionality, the Lahore bench needs six judicial members, Karachi bench requires seven judicial members and Peshawar bench is deficient by one judicial member.
The business community of Islamabad is worst hit as the Chairman of ATIR Shahid Masood Manzar Bhatti has to visit all the tribunals and the capital-based businessmen cannot get relief in urgent matters, he said.
The government should fill the vacant vacancies of judicial members as soon as possible so that things could be streamlined, he said.
The business community is already facing a delay in payment of Sales Tax refunds of Rs400 billion, therefore, their tax cases should be settled on preferential bases.