18 July 2016, Wednesday
Real estate agents for withdrawal of new tax measures
The Real Estate Agents Association at the Defence Housing Authority has staged a rally at the Lahore Press Club to press the government for withdrawal of new tax measures. The rally led by the Association Chairman, Rafique Hasrat, and real estate agents from other localities of the city, later merged with other rallies on its way to the Lahore Press Club.
Property leaders participating in the rally were carrying banners and placards inscribed with their demands and raise slogans against the new taxation measures. The rallies also warned that the new measures could make investors run to other foreign destinations. Currently, the value of any property for the purpose of taxation, commercial or residential is quoted as its deputy collector rate. All types of taxes are applied on the deputy collector value of the property. The deputy collector value is a yardstick used to ensure correct collection of taxes. It is revised each year after market research and varies between different phases of different developers.
Source: Business Recorder
13 July 2016, Wednesday
Investigation against PRAL: President endorses FTO”s order
President Mamnoon Hussain has endorsed the order of Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) wherein Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was directed to initiate criminal investigation against Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL) in the matter of forgery of taxpayer”s signatures on stamp paper for National Tax Number (NTN) application.
It is learnt on Saturday that the President has rejected the representation preferred by the FBR/PRAL against the FTO”s order wherein the FTO has forwarded a case of forgery of taxpayer”s signatures on the stamp paper application for the NTN to the FIA for criminal investigation into the matter and ordered the FBR to conduct enquiry to determine how and by whom the defective NTN was issued.
When contacted Waheed Shahzad Butt, Advocate, who represented the case before the FTO and President, told this correspondent that a complaint against unauthorised CNIC access and unilateral issuance of the NTN and subsequent amendment therein, was forwarded to the FTO by a citizen Ali Mansoor Khan whose CNIC has been misused by PRAL officials for issuance of changes in NTN particulars at Faisalabad. Representation preferred by the FBR/PRAL has been rejected by the President with certain crucial remarks.
The President”s order states, “Representation has been filed by the Agency/ PRAL against the findings of the FTO whereby it has recommended that:
“FBR to (i) conduct enquiry to determine how, and by whom the defective NTN certificate was issued in complainant”s name (ii) devise a fool proof SOP with the consultation of National Response Centre for Cyber Crimes (NRC) wing of FIA to stop the use of fraudulently prepared documents in PRAL (iii) Devise a policy to validate all NTNs on the PRAL data base through a system of biometric verification
Brief facts of the case are that complainant had been allotted a NTN by FBR/PRAL in his name though he had not applied for any such registration and wrongly showed him to have been associated with M/s Al Khawan Enterprises, Faisalabad on the basis of a fabricated “change of particulars application” by allegedly corrupt PRAL/Departmental elements and made a request to CEO, PRAL that the fraudsters be tracked down and action be taken against them. Receiving no response from the FBR, the complainant filed a complaint before the FTO.
The Agency/PRAL replied that the NTN was issued on Rs 20/- ”stamp paper” attested by the oath commissioner, followed up by first a manual and then online request on the prescribed application form. On perusal, it was found that the stamp paper was undatd and unnumbered, without bearing stamp of vendors” verification. Moreover, all the contact details were fictitious and signatures were forged.
PRAL has filed a representation to set aside recommendations on the grounds that thousand documents are received in PRAL/FBR on daily basis. Neither PRAL nor FBR is the executor of the document and nor they are the party who is ”offended” by the alleged ”forgery”. If the forgery has been committed the same may have been done outside FBR/ PRAL. On the other hand, the complainant has endorsed the aforementioned recommendations of the FTO viz his comments wherein the reliance has been placed on 2014 PTD 1424 [Waheed Shahzad Butt Vs Secy Revenue Division].
This representation has been filed by the Agency/ PRAL repeating the said contention raised before the FTO. However, it fails to answer reasoning of learned FTO and does not even contain denial of the factual observations. Recommendations of the FTO do not appear to be cause of any grievance to the agency rather directions have been issued in the matter of safeguarding integrity and confidentiality of tax record in accordance within the provision of law.
The FTO passed harmless recommendations to conduct enquiry to determine how the defective NTN certificate was issued and devise a fool proof SOP/Policy for future to safeguard interest of taxpayers. No grounds stand made out for interference with findings of the FTO. Thus, the representation of the Agency is liable to be rejected and findings of learned FTO are sustainable and unexceptionable. Accordingly, the President has been pleased to reject the representation of the Agency/ PRAL and impugned recommendations of FTO should sustain, the President”s order stated.
Source: Business Recorder