A single bench of Islamabad High Court (IHC) comprising Justice Aamer Farooq has accepted the petition challenging the decision of FBR regarding the introduction of mandatory online filing of tax appeals and summoned the respondents to clarify their position.
The FBR through SRO Notification No. 1315(I)/2020 amended the Income Tax Rules and introduced online filing of an appeal before the Commissioner (Appeals) from the 1st day of January 2021 which resulted in panic among some of the taxpayers.
After the orders, a local company challenged the decision through Syed Muhammad Abbas Bukhari and termed the decision illegal, illogical, and a violation of the rights of the taxpayers.
Syed Muhammad Abbas Bukhari in his arguments said that all the taxpayers are not in a position to comply with the new system, its portal is faulty and it is infested with viruses while the form is incomplete and the system is not issuing a receipt to many people despite the acceptance of their appeals.
Many taxpayers were unable to file online appeals while there was no place to mention the stay order. He said that FBR has started issuing recovery notices to those who have failed to file their petitions within time.
Bukhari said that online filing is a good step but it should have been initiated after removing the bugs from the system, improving the submission form while manual filing should not have been disallowed as many taxpayers lack the facility to file appeals online.
After hearing the arguments, the court barred FBR from recovering the disputed tax amount and summoned FBR’s software developer and other officials on February 15th.