Monday, 27 June 2011

Tax lawyers for keeping ADR outside NBR

Individuals seeking to appeal with High Court against verdicts by Income Tax Tribunal will have to pay between 25-50 percent of the tax imposed by the court at the time of filing application.

The provision, proposed in the budget for the fiscal year of 2011-12, will create sufferings of taxpayers and aggrieved persons seeking justice, said Bangladesh Tax Lawyers' Association yesterday (June 26).

''It will put an extra burden on those seeking justice from the higher court. It is inhumane and against justice,'' said Golam Sarwar, president of the association.
At a press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity in the city, the body of tax lawyers and practitioners urged the government to dump the proposal before it is passed this week.
The association also demanded the government keep alternative dispute resolution (ADR) system out of control of the National Board of Revenue (NBR).
The appeal came after Finance Minister AMA Muhith proposed for ADR to settle disputes amicably and promptly under Income Tax, VAT and Tariff acts to cut delays in settlement of tax-related cases, and to create confidence among taxpayers.
The ADR is a legal framework that enables authorities to resolve cases through mutual understanding and across the table negotiations. In the system, both parties compromise on certain aspects to strike a balance.
The government had earlier vowed to establish an ADR mechanism to accelerate the pace of revenue collection and settle tax-related cases pending at courts. At present, around 20,000 NBR-related cases, involving nearly Tk 8,000 crore in revenues, are now pending.
“We are not against ADR, but we want it to be out of control of NBR,” Sarwar told The Daily Star.
If ADR is formed as an independent body or under the law ministry, taxpayers will feel confident, boosting the government's revenue collection, said a paper circulated at the press meet.
Daily Star 


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