Tax Attorneys Worried About FBR’s New Tajir Dost Plan

Tax Attorneys Worried About FBR's New Tajir Dost Plan

The Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) recent introduction of the Tajir Dost Scheme, which encourages traders to file their taxes without legal aid has angered the legal community.

In order to address this issue, the Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb has been contacted by the Pakistan Tax Bar Association (PTBA).

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In a letter filled with concern and frustration, the PTBA expressed the feelings of tax lawyers across the country regarding the Tajir Dost Scheme announcement.

The PTBA emphasized that they have always supported the FBR and the government in various initiatives, including documentation drives, tax law implementations, and tax collection amnesties. However, they feel that the recent announcement seems to place the blame on tax bar association members. The announcement suggests that traders don’t need to pay any fees or hire a lawyer for registration, implying that lawyers are an obstacle to the successful implementation of schemes like the Tajir Dost Scheme.

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The PTBA emphasized that people should be able to get legal counsel at a price that is mutually agreed upon and that they have a fundamental right to do so. Additionally, they emphasized that authorized representatives are designated in Section 223 of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001, as the ones who can represent taxpayers before the FBR and appellate forums.

Order-III of the Civil Procedure Code additionally allows parties to be represented by attorneys. Therefore, the FBR should not exclude lawyers from any scheme if a party wishes to seek legal assistance.

The PTBA recommended that the controversial announcement should be retracted immediately. They expressed concerns that the government and FBR might be undermining the importance of the legal profession for the sake of a publicity campaign that lacks substance. Such actions could potentially harm the scheme’s success and its expected outcomes, the PTBA letter concluded.

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