Omni Group files comments in disputed income tax return notices case

The Sindh High Court (SHC) directed FBR’s counsel to file rejoinder on four constitutional petitions filed by Anwar Majeed, owner of Omni Group of Companies and his sons against notices for income tax return for 2011.

On November 27, 2018, a two-member bench, headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, heard the matter.

During the hearing, Amjad Javaid Hashmi, counsel for Omni Group, submitted his comments in which he stated that FBR had directed field formalities throughout the country that notices to taxpayer may be served as per mode of service provided in section 218 of TTO 2001 and electric service may be resorted to as an additional means of service for formalities of the taxpayer and may not be treated as a legal mode of service.

Hashmi also argued that after several year back, FBR can’t issue notice for recovery, however, court passed remarks that court will decide legality of notice period. However, petitioners have to pay tax return for 2011.

During the hearing, counsel for FBR was absent; therefore, the court directed counsel for FBR to submit rejoinder on next date of hearing.

Counsel for the Anwar Majeed, Abdul Ghani Majeed, Nimr Majeed and Ali Kamal Majeed stated in their petitions that Deputy Commissioner IR Enforcement & Collection Unit-03, Zone-11 sent notices to them stating, “you have not furnished return of income for the tax year 2011, therefore, you are, hereby, requested to furnish return of income for the said tax year, in the prescribed form and verified in the prescribed manner, please note that failure to comply with any of the terms of this notices may result in a best judgment assessment under sub section 1 of section 122 c of the said ordinance, and may also render you liable to penalty under sub section 1 of section 182 or prosecution under section 191 of the said ordinance or both”.

Counsel argued that petitioners agitated against illegal, arbitrary and time-bared notices dated 16/11/2016 which have been issued without jurisdiction by respondents under Sub Section 4 of Section 114 of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001.

Citing Chairman Federal Board of Revenue, Deputy Commissioner IR Enforcement & Collection Unit-03, Zone-11 and others as respondents, petitioners pleaded the court to declare that act of the respondents as illegal, mala fide and arbitrary, counsel also pleaded the court to set aside impugned notices and restrain them from taking any coercive action against the petitioners.