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Income tax law: SHC rules tax under Section 4C to be applicable from tax year 2023

The SHC ruled that Section 4C of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001, which relates to imposition of levy on high earning persons and companies, shall be applicable from the tax year 2023

By Jamal Khurshid
December 23, 2022
Income tax law: SHC rules tax under Section 4C to be applicable from tax year 2023

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday ruled that Section 4C of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001, which relates to imposition of levy on high earning persons and companies, shall be applicable from the tax year 2023.

Deciding identical petitions of various companies that challenged the constitutionality of Section 4C of income tax ordinance, an SHC division bench, headed by Justice Mohammad Junaid Ghaffar, however, ruled that the 1st proviso to Division IIB of Part I of the First Schedule to the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 is declared to be discriminatory and ultra vires to the Constitution.

Petitioners had submitted that imposition of such tax unlawfully vitiates vested rights accrued in past and closed transactions and discriminatory. They submitted that such imposition of tax was demonstrably devoid of any intelligible differentia having rational nexus with the object of classification and amounts to impermissible double taxation.

The court, after hearing arguments of the counsel, for reasons to be recorded later held that Sections 4C of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 is read to reflect that the levy shall be applicable from the tax year 2023.

The court, however, observed that operation of judgment shall remain suspended for a period of sixty days and securities furnished pursuant to respective temporary orders shall remain intact for the said period.

It is pertinent to mention that the federal government had introduced separate section to the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 to levy additional tax on persons earning more than Rs300 million in a year.

The Section 4C to the income tax ordinance reads that a tax shall be imposed for poverty alleviation for tax year 2022 and onwards at the rates specified in Division IIB of Part of the first schedule on income of every person.