Bank accounts attachment with tax laws major hurdle in ease of doing business: FPCCI

Staff Reporter BOL News

13th Oct, 2021. 06:14 pm

Logo of the FPCCI. Photo: File

KARACHI: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has expressed reservations on the attachment of bank account under section 140 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 and section 48 of the Sales Tax Act, 1990 and term the new amendment a hurdle in the ease of doing business, as envisioned by Prime Minister Imran Khan, a statement said on Wednesday.

FPCCI president Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo said that on the instructions of the prime minister, the government machinery made an atmosphere among the taxpayers that unless they feel ease in doing business without any fear of the tax officials, it is not possible to boost the revenue collection.

However, it seems that the tax authorities are bent upon disturbing this atmosphere in the light of the Federal Board of Revenue’s decision of October 11, 2021; wherein, it has empowered the Inland Revenue officials to attach bank accounts with the tax recovery system without informing the taxpayers.

The FPCCI president said the trade and industry is already facing a blow due to the escalation of the rupee/dollar parity and to add salt to the wound it has now introduced draconian steps in the shape of instructions to forcefully recover the disputed taxes from the bank accounts of the taxpayers.

Maggo also said that this is totally against the recent instructions to bar the tax machinery from taking money without prior intimation to the accountholders and the fresh instructions would be a dent to the finance minister’s pro taxpayer posture.

The FBR’s former chairman was also against such steps of collecting taxes forcefully and took practical steps to stop such practices.

He also said the tax machinery has almost failed to dig out new taxpayers instead it is bent upon hand twisting methods against the existing taxpayers to collect the so-called revenue.

If such practices are enforced, it will pile up the litigation between the tax collectors and taxpayers and the courts were already burdened due to such litigations.

The trade community feels that the hierarchy of the FBR is under pressure to meet their targets and to recover the disputed taxes by using their extraordinary powers.

In recent months, the taxpayers have been complaining about the ‘highhandedness’ by the FBR. The matter had also landed in the Senate Standing Committee on Finance, which had recommended the government to sack taxmen who made exaggerated tax demands and then rejected the appeals of the taxpayers under pressure from the FBR headquarters.

Maggo, talking on behalf of the business community, urged the FBR to review its policy and collect taxes under the trade-friendly atmosphere.

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