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Tax department seeks powers to reopen up to 10-year old cases


June 3, 2020

KARACHI: Income tax officials have sought more powers for probing assessed taxpayers for up to 10 years, sources said on Tuesday.

Inland Revenue officers have recommended enhancing the period for assessment in their proposals for the federal budget 2020-21.

Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) officials, privy to the matters, said tax managers in their proposals submitted for budget 2020/2021 recommended that the taxmen be authorised to issue assessment order in 10 years

Income tax officials are currently aurhorised to reopen assessed cases for up to 5 years

Under Section 121 of Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, a commissioner of Inland Revenue is authorised issuing assessment order to taxpayers directing to explain taxable income, amount of tax due, amount of tax paid, and the time, place, and manner of appealing the assessment order.

Sources said through Finance Act, 2018, under this section, the tax officials were already authorised to issue notices for filing income tax return for one or more of the last ten completed tax years.

They said the provision was not in line as the commissioner was allowed to issue notice within past five years after the discovery of any default. But the tax managers were seeking to enhance this limit to 10 years.

Under the Section 121 of the ordinance, the commissioner is empowered to force taxpayers to furnish income tax return or furnish statement pertaining to any full year or a period in which the return was not filed or filed incorrectly.

The tax managers also proposed amending the provisions of Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 pertaining to permission for revising wealth statement.

The managers recommended that approval of commissioner should be made mandatory for revising wealth statement under Section 116 of the Ordinance. However, they said that this approval may not apply if revised wealth statement is filed within sixty days of filing of original wealth statement.

Under Section 116 of the Ordinance, every person is required to file wealth statement along with annual income tax return within due date notified by the FBR.

The officials said the proposed amendment would discourage people for revising their wealth statement after many years of filing original statement, adding, the incorporation of this suggestion to the Finance Bill 2020 would facilitate bona fide taxpayers.