Central Board of Revenue planning to revamp appeals system

ISLAMABAD (December 24 2005): The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) is planning to revamp the entire appeals system to speed up processing of cases at the levels of Adjudication; Commissioner, Appeals; Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) and higher courts.

Under the new program, a detailed strategy would be devised for restructuring the entire appeals structure. For this purpose, estimates of staff and infrastructure would be worked out for designing of new operating and procedure manuals.

The CBR has given assignment to Member Legal to work on the new program and submit detailed report by February 2006.

Different computer programs are under preparation including 'Case Law Software' for speedy disposal of pending cases.

The CBR is engaged in developing a comprehensive appeal and adjudication strategy. The program will promote better relationship between the taxpayer and tax officials and check the delaying tactics being adopted by the taxpayers during adjudication proceedings.

Under the plan, the CBR will encourage the taxpayers to use Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system for all levies to resolve disputes of small nature.

It would also cover complicated audit and contravention reports of the auditors to make them more transparent, which would help in early resolution of tax cases. The complete information would benefit the taxpayers to understand whether he intends to file an appeal or not.

The new appeals program would cover all these shortcomings in the existing system through the office of Member Legal, sources added.

To clear the backlog of pending appeals, the CBR has assigned a target of 12-15 percent reduction in appeals stock to all Commissioners of Income Tax Appeals in each quarter of current financial year. For this purpose, the CBR has re-distributed the work among the income tax officials to ensure speedy disposal of appeals.

The department has also appointed senior law officers to ensure disposal of cases at tribunals and high courts.

The CBR is also focusing on the role of departmental representatives. Tax authorities have called upon the departmental representatives to work in an effective and professional manner so that the tax disputes are resolved.

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