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CBR rejects two budget proposals by consultant

ISLAMABAD (May 04 2003) : The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has rejected a major budget proposal floated by consultant Maxwell Stamps to slash 50 percent taxes on filing of appeal with the Collector (Appeals) and introduce a similar clause for Appellate Tribunal.

The tax managers have also turned down another proposal of consultants from UK to merge adjudication and appeal processes, eliminating delay in decision of cases by adjudication authorities.

Terming proposals not feasible, the CBR has contested that the suggestions were not in line with Pakistan's tax culture where taxpayers intentionally indulge in litigation.

Similarly, adjudication and appeals processes are entirely different and cannot be segregated.

The CBR has informed the consultants that taxpayers generally try to delay the adjudication process by resorting to unnecessary and frivolous appeals.

The condition to deposit adjudged amount of tax with the Collector (Appeals) serves as a check on frivolous appeals and, in case of hardship, the appellate authority has been empowered to dispense with this condition.

The CBR observed that this condition to file appeal is not generally enforced.

Under the present circumstances, there appears to be no justification to give further relaxation to the taxpayers as recommended by Maxwell Stamps.

Rejecting proposal pertaining to merger of adjudication and appeal processes, the CBR was of the view that adjudication and appeals processes are two different and distinct functions, which cannot be merged into one.

In budget 2002-03 the forum of Collector (Appeal) was revived with a view to lessen unnecessary burden on the Appellate Tribunals and to provide an additional appellate forum to the taxpayers against the orders passed by the adjudicating officers below the rank of Additional Collector.

The cases for which the institution of Collector, Appeals has been revived as appellate forum do not normally involve much revenue, the CBR added.

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