Pakistan’s Attorney General Pushes for Streamlined Tax Litigation

The Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) is urging the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to improve coordination on tax-related court cases. This move aims to expedite the resolution of pending tax disputes worth a staggering Rs2.7 trillion.

Challenges in Tax Litigation:

  • Conflicting Responses: The AGP highlighted instances where the Ministry of Industries and the Revenue Division submitted contradictory replies in a case exceeding Rs1 billion. This creates confusion and delays court decisions.
  • Disjointed Representation: The AGP identified a lack of coordination in hiring lawyers, with different departments engaging separate legal counsel for similar cases. This inefficiency increases costs and delays.
  • Limited FBR Involvement: The AGP noted cases where the FBR failed to appear in court despite notices. Assigning a dedicated Grade-18 officer for court representation is recommended.
  • Incomplete Information Sharing: The AGP pointed out the FBR’s failure to share copies of court replies with their office, hindering their ability to effectively assist the courts.

Proposed Solutions:

  • Focal Person for Coordination: The AGP recommends appointing a focal person within the FBR to handle tax litigation matters and ensure better communication.
  • Unified Legal Representation: Engaging a single senior lawyer for similar or connected cases would streamline legal strategy, reduce complexities, and potentially lower costs.
  • Standardization of Responses: The AGP emphasizes the need for consistent replies across different ministries to avoid conflicting information presented to the courts.
  • Prompt Appeals and Injunctions: The AGP recommends the FBR to file timely appeals against unfavorable tribunal decisions and seek injunctions when necessary.

Overall, the AGP’s recommendations aim to create a more unified and efficient approach to tax litigation in Pakistan. This could significantly reduce delays, minimize unnecessary legal expenses, and expedite the recovery of outstanding tax revenue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *