KARACHI: Tax practitioners on Wednesday cracked down on tax authorities for limiting tax notification services to electronic means only, which they claim will only add to the misery of taxpayers.
The Karachi Tax Lawyers Association (KTBA), in a letter to Federal Revenue Council (FBR) chairman Muhammad Javed Ghani, raised this alarm, calling the move “unpleasant and unrealistic”. The tax bar says as per Section 218 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 there are four prescribed methods for servicing notifications.
Through a notification issued on February 22, 2018, FBR has stated that notifications presented via electronic means will be treated as a means of additional services to facilitate taxpayers and cannot be treated as a mode of legal service.
However, through a communication issued on February 3, 2021, FBR withdrew the notification dated February 22, 2018 which stated that the clarification was against various provisions in the 2001 Income Tax Ordinance.
“After the withdrawal of the clarification, all notification service mechanisms and other documents are now limited to only one mode, namely electronic services,” said KTBA. That has made the entire notification service mechanism redundant by completely ignoring the other modes provided for in the law, KTBA said. Section 218 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 provides for various modes in which notification will be treated as appropriate given to an individual or a person. The mode of service mentioned under Section 218 is personal service to that individual or representative of that person, service by registered post or courier service at a registered office or address and where the person does not have such an office or address, to the office or place of business by registered mail. , to the last known address in Pakistan or in the manner prescribed for service of calls under the Civil Procedure Code, 1908.