ADRC encourages taxpayers to get their cases settled without incurring litigation cost. 

FBR introduces Track and Trace System to improve revenue, curb counterfeit products in market.

From Farzana Ali Khan

ISLAMABAD: Keeping in view improvement of the disposal of tax litigation cases pending in different appellate fora including Commissioners Inland Revenue (Appeals), Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue, High Courts and the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Federal Board of Revenue FBR has launched a simplified process at the first Appeal i.e.Commissioners Appeals level by implementing the e-filing of appeals since 1st January, 2021. 

Through e-filing, taxpayers can simply file appeals against an appealable order, online, without hassle of going to their respective field office. Even prior to launching of E-filing, disposal of cases have been surpassing the assigned targets as per the Performance Agreement.

For the period from July to December, 2020, target of disposal assigned to the CsIR (Appeals) was 7818 appeals against which a total of 17,768 appeals were disposed of which is in excess of the target by a huge margin.
Similarly on the FBR’s request, special benches for hearing of tax cases have been constituted by Sindh High Court, Lahore High Court and Islamabad High Court for early hearings and speedy disposal of tax related cases. In addition to that a new policy has been introduced for the induction of competent lawyers so that government revenue is not left at the stake of amateur lawyers.

As a result of these ongoing efforts, in the last quarter (ending December, 2020) 934 tax cases have been disposed of by the High Courts and the Supreme Court with the revenue involved amounting to Rs. 81.7 billion. 
Moreover, 1240 cases with the revenue involved of Rs. 168.5 billion have been decided by the Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue during the same period.
It is also informed for the benefit of taxpayers’ that the institution of ADRC (Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee) has also been mobilized by virtue of which taxpayers’ are encouraged to get their cases settled through these committees in a much lesser time and without incurring litigation cost.
So far on application by the taxpayers’ 18 committees have started working for resolution of cases.

FBR further clarifies that by virtue of a major facilitative change in law vide Finance Act-2020, an applicant taxpayer, in order to apply for resolution of case by ADRC, is not required to withdraw his case pending in any other appellate forum. In order to win trust of the taxpayers’ in this system, the law requires that members of ADRC apart from relevant Chief Commissioner would also include respectable reputable judges, chartered accountants and businessmen nominated by chambers of commerce.

The committee is also empowered to stay the process of recovery in hardship cases. FBR also clarifies that taxpayers’ application has to be finalized by the Committee within a short period of 120 days which in itself is a big relief considering the usual time taken in various appellate fora before a case attains finality.

FBR’s evaluation process for the grant of five-year license, an IT-based solution for electronic monitoring of specified goods and Fertilizer.  
Federal Board of Revenue has successfully completed the Evaluation Process for the grant of five-year license for an IT-based solution for electronic monitoring (Track and Trace System) of specified goods i.e. Tobacco, Cement, Sugar and Fertilizer.  

Initially 11 bids were received out of which 8 bids were technically qualified. The Technical scores were awarded to them on the basis of specified evaluation criteria. To ensure complete transparency, technical scores of all technically compliant bidders were displayed for all attendees to see prior to opening of the financial bids. 

Afterwards, the opening of the financial bids was held at FBR head quarter, Islamabad, which was attended by 8 technically compliant applicants/bidders. The financial bids were publicly opened by the 7-member licensing committee, headed by Karamatullah Khan Chaudhry. Accordingly, cumulative (technical and financial) scores of all the 8 qualified applicants were derived. 

As a result of the above, M/s. AJCL/Authentix/MITAS was declared as “the most advantageous bid” on the basis of the combined highest score in accordance with the Licensing Rules 2019 and PPRA rules 2004.
FBR has stated that installation of the Track and Trace System in the identified sectors would be a game changer for improving revenue and curbing counterfeit products in the market. FBR expects to start installing UIMs (tax stamps) on various sector products from July 2021.