Question: Discuss the composition of “APPELLATE TRIBUNAL INLAND REVENUE”, what are the functions performed by it?
APPELLATE TRIBUNAL INLAND REVENUE:
APPELLATE TRIBUNAL INLAND REVENUE is the second court of appeal. The Federal Government is the appointing authority of the APPELLATE TRIBUNAL. The taxpayer or the Commissioner Inland Revenue, if not satisfied with the decision of the Commissioner Inland Revenue (Appeals) can appeal to the Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue.
The Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue was established by passing an amendment in income tax act, 1939, it started functioning with effect from 25th July 1941. The detail regarding the constitution and functioning the Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue has been provided in the income tax ordinance 2001, and income tax appellate tribunal rules 1981.
The Federal Government is the appointing authority of the APPELLATE TRIBUNAL. Its main office is situated in Islamabad.
The organizational setup of appellate tribunal is consisted as follows;
The Chairman is the main controlling authority of the APPELLATE TRIBUNAL. Federal Government appoints him. Usually he is appointed from its judicial members; however the Accountant members are also eligible for this position
A full time Registrar is responsible to receive appeals and look after the working of the offices of the Tribunal. He is subordinate to Chairperson of the Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue and works under his guidance. His office is situated in Islamabad in headquarter of the Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue. There are assistant registrar are posted in Karachi and Peshawar benches. His duties are as follows;
- He entertain appeals provisionally
- Fix the date and time for hearing of appeals
- Look after the administrative affairs of the Appellate Tribunal
Members of the Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue
The Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue consists of two types of members;
- a)Judicial members; and
- b)Accountant members
The qualifications for their appointments are as follows:
The Federal Government may appoint a person as judicial member of the Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue if:
- He has exercise the powers of District Judge and is qualified to be a Judge of High Court;
- He is or has been Advocate of the High Court and is qualified to be a Judge of High Court; or
- He is an Officer Inland Revenue service in BS-20 or above and is a law graduate
The Federal Government shall appoint the Accountant members of the Appellate Tribunal also. He must possess any one of the following qualifications:
- He is an Officer of Inland Revenue services equivalent to the rank of Regional Commissioner;
- A Commissioner Inland Revenue or Commissioner Inland Revenue (Appeals) having at least three years of experience as Commissioner or Collector;
- Is a person who has, for a period not less than ten years, practiced professionally as Chartered Accountant.
- Is a person who has practiced professionally as a Cost and Management Accountant for at least ten years
Functioning of the Appellate Tribunal
The Chairperson of the Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue may constitutes benches to perform the functions of the tribunal. A bench normally consists of two members. However a larger bench may also be constituted by the Chairperson. A bench usually consists of equal number of judicial and accountant members but in certain cases the number of one type of members may exceed the other type by one. Federal Government may allow the Chairperson or any other member to hear the case alone.
Difference of opinion
Difference of opinion among members of Tribunal on a point is settled as follows;
- If the members of the Tribunal differ in opinion at any point, the majority decision is accepted
- If the members are equally divided, then the disputed point is referred to the Chairperson of the Tribunal. In such cases the Chairperson appoints one or more of the other members of the Tribunal to hear the disputed point. The question is then decided according to the opinion of majority of members who have heard the case including those who first heard
Final fact Finding Authority:
The decision of the Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue on a point of fact is final. Due to this reason it is known as final fact finding authority. However, if the decision of the Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue involves a point of law, the case can be referred to High Court.
The Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue has the power to regulate its own procedure and the procedure of benches of the Tribunal. It can also itself decide all matters arising out of discharge of its functions including the places at which the benches shall hold their sittings.