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Agencies
April 23, 2019

Cellphone tax case: Will cart man go for refund from IT office, asks SC

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A
Agencies
April 23, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday asked if every citizen is able to pay tax and if a cart man would go to the Income Tax Commissioner to get refund on mobile phone card he had loaded.

The SC observed that the government should act honestly on the tax matters and stressed that tax procedures should be made easy for citizens so that it could be determined by identity cards as to who was a taxpayer and who was not.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, heard the case pertaining to advance tax on cellphone cards and remarked that the state considered that the citizen himself would indicate whether he or she would pay tax or not.

The chief justice asked how many people demand refund of advance tax as they have to see when and how much tax would be applicable. He remarked that the court would also have to consider whether the government enforced the law correctly or not.

A huge amount was withdrawn from the pockets of masses due to the law. On a court query, Attorney General for Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan said every client pay advance tax on a mobile card and a consumer on whom income tax was not applicable could demand a refund.

The counsel for Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said Rs90 billion tax was not collected due to suspension of one point of tax collection law by the apex court.

The chief justice responded that the court could void a law but it could not suspend a law. Justice Qazi Faez Isa remarked that the court would also have to review utility tax along with income tax.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that the court had only suspended the recovery of withholding tax but not suspended the law. According to law if a person was not applicable of tax, he would have to get a certificate from Commissioner Income Tax, he added.

He remarked that the state should be sincere with its citizens. He remarked that advance tax was income tax according to definition and how a consumer could pay tax who did not fall in the category of taxpayer.

He remarked that the court wanted that the government should form such a mechanism that non-filers should not have to pay the tax. The Supreme Court adjourned the hearing of the case regarding mobile phone tax till Wednesday.

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