Denying right to justice to taxpayers

Author: Ikram ul Haq
Publication Year : 2021

In the Finance Bill, 2021, a highly lamentable and unconstitutional amendment is proposed to the effect that for availing right to appeal, the aggrieved taxpayer will have to deposit 100 percent of the demand upheld by any appellate authority before exercising the right to appeal to the next available forum under the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 [“the Ordinance”]. The adjudicating officers in most of the cases pass harsh, arbitrary, illegal and excessive orders to show performance and/or higher collection. Such orders are quashed at the level of Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue (ATIR), higher courts and Supreme Court of Pakistan. The proposed amendment, if adopted, will change section 137 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 as under (red parts showing amendments proposed):