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March 11, 2021

KTBA rejects e-tax notice service restriction

Business

March 11, 2021

KARACHI: Tax practitioners on Wednesday came down hard on the tax authority for restricting the service of tax notices only through electronic means (e-tax notice), which they claimed would only add to taxpayers' woes.

Karachi Tax Bar Association (KTBA), in a letter to Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Muhammad Javed Ghani, raised these alarms, while calling the move ‘unpleasant and unrealistic’. The tax bar said as per Section 218 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 there were four prescribed methods of serving notices.

Through a notification issued on February 22, 2018 the FBR had stated the notices served through electronic means would be treated as an additional means of service for facilitation of the taxpayer and might not be treated as a legal mode of service.

However, through a communication issued on February 03, 2021, the FBR withdrew the notification dated February 22, 2018, stating the clarification was in contradiction to various provisions of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.

“After the withdrawal of the clarification, the entire mechanism of service of notices and other documents has now been restricted to only one mode, which is electronic service,” the KTBA said. It had made the entire mechanism of service of notice redundant by completely ignoring other modes provided in the law, the KTBA said. The Section 218 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 provides various modes through which a notice would be treated as properly served upon an individual or a person. The modes of service stated under Section 218 are personal service on the individual or the representative of the person, service through registered post or courier service on the registered office or address and where the person does not have such office or address, to any office or place of business through registered post, to the last known address in Pakistan or in the manner prescribed for service of a summons under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.