Supreme Court suspends SHC’s order on FBR notices to foreign asset holders

Supreme court of Pakistan Justice Umar Atta Bandial order

On the plea of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the Supreme Court of Pakistan has suspended the Sindh High Court (SHC) order which declared illegal the issuance of FBR notices to the Pakistanis pertaining to their overseas assets, income, and expenses. However, it has granted leave to appeal against the suspension.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umar Atta Bandial heard the FBR plea.

Earlier, Sindh High Court (SHC) had declared FBR’s notices null and void and illegal in December 2020.

The FBR lawyer stated during the hearing that in accordance with Income Tax Ordinance-2001, all the Pakistanis having assets or income abroad were obligated to declare their assets, income, and expenses along with their annual Income Tax Returns.

To comply with the stated legal provision, FBR had issued the notices to the Pakistanis having foreign source income or assets abroad but had not declared them along with the Income Tax Returns. Therefore, some individuals preferred to appeal before Sindh High Court against the issuance of notices by FBR and pleaded before the court to declare the notices as illegal.

While accepting the plea of hearing appeal, the Supreme Court stated that notices issued by FBR could not be challenged before the High Court as per law settled by the apex court.

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