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PRESENTATION BY MR. MUMTAZ AHMAD MEMBER LEGAL FEDERAL BOARD OF REVENUE PowerPoint Presentation
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PRESENTATION BY MR. MUMTAZ AHMAD MEMBER LEGAL FEDERAL BOARD OF REVENUE. OVERALL FUNCTIONS OF THE LEGAL WING. COORDINATION WITH OTHER FBR WINGS. Dealing with the appeal matters at the Tribunal, High Court and Supreme Court level.

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OVERALL FUNCTIONS OF THE LEGAL WING

COORDINATION WITH OTHER FBR WINGS

  • Dealing with the appeal matters at the Tribunal, High Court and Supreme Court level.
  • Monitoring and overseeing work of 06 Collectors (Appeals and 08 Commissioners (Appeals)
  • Vetting of contracts, rendering of opinion and advice to the line Members in disputes resolution.
  • Federal Services Tribunal and Supreme Court matters (service matters assistance).
  • FTO matters. Complaints responses. Representation to the President.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution matters.
  • Support to the reforms process.
contd
Contd…
  • Assistant on Legal Issues;
  • Assistance to all Wings of FBR on Legal Matters.
  • Transition from the CBR to the FBR. Main statute, IJP rules, uniform and accommodation regulations, Employees Foundation matter etc.
  • Liaison with the Officers of Courts, Ministries, Law Division and managing work of over 100 advocates on Panel approved by the Law Division.
  • Comments: The FBR’s Tax Administration Reforms Program has enabled the Legal Wing of FBR to introduce reforms in the matter of reduction in litigation and creating better environment for taxpayers to discharge their obligation to the state.
  • .
remedy available to the taxpayers
Remedy available to the Taxpayers.

(A) Appeals hierarchy –

(i) within the department, Collector/Commissioner,

(II) Tribunals,

(iii) High Court,

(iv) Supreme Court.

(B) Writ and Civil Jurisdiction

contd1
Contd….

(C) Federal Tax Ombudsman

- Indirectly controls the mal-administration of the department’s officers and grants relief to the taxpayers where instances of the mal-administration are pointed out.

- Representation against the decision of FTO lies with the President of Pakistan (through Law & Justice Ministry).

(D) Representation to the Chairman, FBR.

A taxpayer may submit a representation under section 7 of the FBR Act, 2007 to the Chairman, FBR who may issue appropriate order.

(F) For foreign investment/N.R companies:

Concept of “advance ruling”. Implementation of the provisions of the agreement for avoidance of double taxation is faithfully done. We have such agreements with 55 countries.

impact of alternate dispute resolution on appeals and litigation
IMPACT OF ALTERNATE DISPUTE RESOLUTION ON APPEALS AND LITIGATION
  • Common Complaints of taxpayers within the existing system used to involve lengthy litigations, extending over decades. In order to eliminate such delays in deliverance of justice and redressal of grievances, the system of ADR has been introduced.
  • It is resolving of the tax or duty disputes out of court, between the person and the institution. Parties to the dispute may arrive at a mutually agreed solution of the dispute.
  • The system of ADR aims at providing the aggrieved tax payer a platform to raise his dispute at a forum separate from the conventional forum.
  • In this system, there are no “Losers” or “Winners”. It is about deciding disputes which are set and rest on the method of “win-win situation for all”. In fact, ADR is a “hybrid system” in tax matters.
  • ADR is yet another example of FBR’s commitment to revamp the existing system.
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Benefits of ADR for FBR and Taxpayer

  • Reduces the number of litigation cases and the burden on the courts
  • Saves the management time of litigants.
  • Saves litigation costs.
  • Controls mal-administration.
  • Avoids diversions of time in bringing cases to the courts.
  • Settles disputes through tax experts and recognized institutions.
  •  It directly goes to the root of dispute instead of periphery.
  •  Preservation of business relationships.
  • Better case management.
  • Greater satisfaction with instant results/outcomes-more options.
  • Confidentiality.
  • Flexibility of procedures.
  • Quicker resolutions.
  •  Lower costs for all parties to the dispute.
referring disputes for adr
Referring Disputes for ADR
  • Present rules prescribe the stages at which disputes could be referred for ADR subject to FBR’s agreement to form the Committee.·
  •  A matter can be referred for ADR from either of the following stages:

o     After adjudication or assessment, i.e. during pendency of appeal before the Collector (Appeals) or Commissioner (Appeals)

o   After decision of appeal by the Collector (Appeals) or Commissioner (Appeals), i.e. during pendency of appeal before the Appellate Tribunal;

o      After decision of appeal by the Appellate Tribunal, i.e. during pendency of appeal before a High Court;

o       After decision of appeal by High Court, i.e. during pendency of appeal before the Supreme court.

  • ADR does not involve any fee, charges or costs. There is no time limit for applying for ADR. The application can be submitted any time during the pendency of the matter before any appellate authority, tribunal or court and that it should not be a past and closed transaction. 
contd2
Contd…
  • Finance Act 2006 has made ADRC available where appeal has been filed. Supreme Court in its recent judgment decided that where criminal proceedings have been initiated, the ADR process would not be available.
  • Amendment made by FBR Act, 2007.
  • By the Finance Act 2005, Wealth Tax disputes of the erstwhile Wealth Tax Laws have also been made a subject matter of ADR.
  • Insertion of these related provisions in various tax laws will provide another venue to the taxpayers to have easy “access to justice” and to resolve disputes at private/public institutions, with no costs and delays.
  • Pakistan is Pioneer and fore-runner in introducing the Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanism in the tax laws.
  • The ADR coupled with reduction in the litigations (150,000 appeals were finalized at the Commissioners and Collectors level, within span of three years), and special bench of Supreme court deciding appeals, will have impact on the litigation at High court and Tribunal level and will provide easy access to justice.
conted
Conted…
  • This strategy is a part of the Reforms Program which is on the right track. FBR has now been declared as 98% responsive in the direct tax matters (American Business Council Survey).
  • The Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanism supplements traditional mode of dispensation of justice. The recommendations/decisions of the ADRC are non-binding on Parties or FBR.
contd3
Contd….
  • FBR may, in case of accepting the recommendations, pass a formal order/judgment and on payment of tax, all the proceedings abate, and the orders/judgments made are taken as modified to that extent.
  • In case when the matter is subjudice before the Court the recommendations and order/agreement are to be placed before the Court/Authority, which can then, pass an appropriate order.
  • The number of applications for the ADRC is growing.
  • Once the awareness level is raised, small taxpayers will also prefer this mode, henceforth the number of appeals at the High Court and Tribunal level will decline.
contd4
Contd….
  • The ADR works on the method of “discovery”; hence “knowing” the weaknesses and strengths of both the parties to the dispute; through mediation and/or negotiation, and settlement, as compared with adversarial litigation under the traditional system.
  •  The ADR has been termed by some taxpayers as a breath of fresh air; a paradigm shift, and a window of opportunity to have easy access to justice.
  •  Through the ADR and the consequent reduction in the litigation; the taxpayer is facilitated to pay his tax dues with certainty, accuracy and in accordance with the law.
  • The ADR will go a long way to resolve the disputes and reduce litigation. The credibility, impartiality and integrity of the ADRCs will provide impetus to the working of the ADR System.
difficulties
DIFFICULTIES.
  • Generally old and complicated applications/cases are received which are difficult to dispose off.
  • The non-departmental members i.e Retd. Judges, Chartered Accountant, advocates and businessman are reluctant to join committees.
  • Chairman/Members of ADRC already on panel do not take keen interest in disposing the cases as no remuneration is paid.
  • Tax payers are not well informed about the ADR mechanism.
  • Applicants do not file applicants properly.
  • No time limit is observed either by the committee or the department.
  • ADRC appeals are accepted if covered under the prescribed rules and laws, except those which do not cover under the law.