Sharifs plea against tax evasion notices admitted

Originally Published at THENEWS

Saturday, March 27, 2010
By The News Correspondent


A TWO-member bench of the Supreme Court on Friday admitted for regular hearing the petitions of the Sharif family, challenging notices of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for additional wealth tax of million of rupees.

The bench, comprising Justice Raja Fayyaz and Justice Jawad S Khawaja, also sought a reply from the FBR for a date to be fixed by the SC registrar’s office. The petitions were filed by Mian Nawaz Sharif and his wife Kalsoom Nawaz, Mian Shahbaz Sharif and his wife Nusrat Shahbaz, son Hamza Shahbaz, Mian Tariq Shafi and Mian Javaid Shafi.

The Income Tax department accused Nawaz Sharif of evading tax on the purchase a helicopter, which he used for his election campaign in mid-1990s.Kalsoom Nawaz was asked to pay Rs 2.9 million as additional wealth tax and Rs 1.9 million as additional income tax for her income from 1990 to 2000 while Shahbaz Sharif was directed to pay Rs 2.3 million as additional wealth tax and Rs 1.6 million as additional income tax for the same period.

Malik Tariq Aziz, the counsel for the Sharifs, submitted in the court that the tax department never disclosed as to what amount of tax was due from the Sharifs and it was a vague notice which did not have legal sanctity. He said the order of the income tax commissioner was repugnant and inconsistent with sections 3 and 4 of the Wealth Tax Act 1963 which stated that no penalty or additional tax could be imposed if the appeal was pending and the petitioners’ appeals were pending for the last seven years. He said Kalsoom Nawaz and Shahbaz had paid the income tax during the stipulated time and no objection was raised against it at that time.

The counsel said the notices were issued to the petitioners after the year 2000 and the objection about the tax assessment was raised about 1,213 days instead of the normal 60 days required period.

He said that the re-opening of the case was illegal as the tax department had already accepted the tax and now it could not raise any objection. He said the show-cause notice was not issued to the petitioners, which was necessary before taking any action.

The counsel pleaded that the notices were a violation of the Section 177 of the Income Tax Ordinance and requested the court to declare the delayed assessment made by the department as illegal.



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