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Tax disputes: CBR launches drive for out-of-court settlement

ISLAMABAD (December 21 2004): The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has launched a countrywide campaign to encourage the business community for out-of-court settlement through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism. In this connection, the Legal Wing of CBR has conveyed to the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) to take advantage of ADR system for settlement of tax-related disputes in cases pending in higher courts.

Under the ADR, a taxpayer's right to appeal remains unaffected by referring dispute to the ADR committee. One of the most important features of ADR is that if a person is not satisfied with ADR he can still pursue appeal.

Hence, this alternative system for dispute settlement gives an opportunity to the taxpayers to take initiative to resolve legal matters without changing the status of already undergone litigation at various judicial fora.

The Legal Wing has informed the business community that the system will ensure quick settlement of disputes through notified committees.

The business community should prefer ADR system to avoid prolonged litigation in courts.

The CBR has already notified amendments in the tax laws for giving legal cover to the ADR committees for resolution of disputes between the taxpayers and the departments. These committees include prominent businessmen, experts in the relevant fields, lawyers or chartered accountants or distinguished taxpayers.

The Legal Wing is making all-out efforts to end the litigation's which neither help the taxpayers nor revenue.

The resolution of disputes through these committees can play a key role in ending litigations between the business community and the department.

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