LTO Islamabad Refunds Rs. 2 Billion to IESCO to Avoid Contempt of Court Proceedings

The Large Taxpayer Office (LTO) in Islamabad has refunded an additional amount of Rs. 2.0732 billion to the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) in order to avoid contempt of court proceedings against the delinquent FBR officers. This decision was made in response to the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) serious notice against forced bank recoveries.

ProPakistani has been informed by sources that the IHC’s strict intervention was the only reason for the development. The LTO has reimbursed the IESCO for Rs. 2,073,206,658/-through Refund Order No.01/2024, dated 28-02-2024, issued by the office of DCIR, Unit VII, Zone-II, LTO Islamabad. The money was recovered from taxes that were attached to the IESCO’s bank accounts.

Upon being reached, tax attorney Waheed Shahzad Butt informed ProPakistani that the IHC had already called the Chief CIR, LTO Islamabad, and the Member (Operations-IR) to appear in person before the IHC for violating the directive issued by the IHC on tax recovery cases by the field formations, particularly LTO, Islamabad.

The petitioner, IESCO, claimed that over time, the department’s (LTO Islamabad) highhandedness nearly caused the company’s economic activity to collapse. In an attempt to reach their revenue goals, the respondents (LTO) have singled out the petitioner. They even disregarded the court’s directives in an effort to meet their earnings goal.

Butt went on to say that the IHC had also ordered the submission of the names of LTO Islamabad officers involved in tax recovery actions through IESCO bank account attachments. Meanwhile, in response to IESCO’s second petition, the IHC had sent notices to high-ranking officials, including the FB chairman, member operations-IR, and tax employees of the LTO, including the Chief CIR, CIR, and DCIR, Zone-II, Islamabad.

The petitioner is displeased with recovery notices dated 22-02-2023, which have influenced forceful recovery from the petitioner’s accounts, according to an earlier ruling from the IHC. According to the experienced counsel, the assessment was awaiting decision-making before the CIR (Appeals), which had dismissed the petitioner’s appeal by order dated February 21, 2023. The petitioner was informed of this order.

However, at 9:00 a.m. on February 22, 2023, forcible recovery was carried out in violation of the law without providing any prior notice following the petitioner’s appeal being dismissed or even notifying the petitioner of the appeal order. Coercive recovery also violates the directives given by FBR to the Commissioners in a letter dated March 20, 2017, which states that coercive recoveries cannot be used to suppress speech without FBR’s prior consent.

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