Disconnection of Electricity, Gas and Phone Connections of Non-Filer
Disconnection of Electricity, Gas and Phone Connections of Non-Filer via Section 114B: Categorization of non-filer of tax return as a non-filer and keeping it out of actual tax payers list and making it to suffer even with higher withholding tax did not make the break through as the non-filer chose to live with higher withholding over filing his tax return.
Hence, after experiencing the stigma for over a long period, a whole new concept is being proposed to achieve the objectives of broadening of tax base with a new and more ferocious penalty for being a non-filer.
The amendment Ordinance has introduced a new non-obstante provision to allow the board to issue Income Tax General Order, in respect of the offended non-filer liable to file his return, and punish him by disconnecting his electricity, Gas and Phone connections.
The whole process of catching the non-filer is proposed to be triggered from the issuance of notice to file income tax return where after if the person fails to file return, action would be taken against him.
This punishment would be in addition to any other penal action that can be taken against the non-filer under the Ordinance.
The Commissioner has been delegated the power to restore the connections after he is satisfied that either the return has been filed or the person was actually never required to file any return of income in the first place.
We understand that the above amendment may potentially be subject to litigation as it would tantamount to encroach upon fundamental right of a citizen to have electricity, Gas and a Phone connection.
Apart from the faulty taxpayer it is suspected that Electricity or Gas or the Telephone companies or their regulators, may question unfettered powers self-assumed by the FBR, in court as ones failure in his core function should not result in other’s jeopardy.
section has been introduced with an overriding effect over their laws, we understand that this aspect remains skeptical as to whether FBR should have power to override the provisions of Pakistan Telecom Authority, NEPRA or OGRA or directly the Utility companies.
For more information on FBR’s new regulations / circulars/ SROs/ amendments in taxation laws in Pakistan please visit https://www.fbr.gov.pk/