The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has launched online hearing of tax audit and assessment cases.
“The FBR has introduced the programme of electronic hearing of tax audit and assessment cases to facilitate the taxpayers,” said a press release issued on Tuesday. “The e-hearing module in FBR’s Iris portal was activated and functionalized to achieve this.”
The module allows for online hearings through dedicated hearing rooms set up in field formations and from taxpayers’ homes. It stated that the e-hearing would be recorded and archived for future legal and administrative use. The module was first launched and tested in Islamabad’s Large Taxpayers Office (LTO), Rawalpindi’s Regional Tax Office (RTO), Faisalabad’s RTO, and Peshawar’s RTO.
At these four locations, online e-hearings have been allowed by dedicated e-hearing rooms and from taxpayer locations. In the second phase, all remaining field formations will have e-hearings activated and operationalized.
By May 31, 2021, the FBR has ordered all Inland Revenue chief commissioners to set up dedicated e-hearing rooms in their respective field offices. The module will allow the head office to attend any hearing at any time, without warning, for administrative system evaluation.
The release went on to say that, with the implementation of the e-hearing module, taxpayers would no longer be expected to come into the offices for hearings, and that actual hearings in offices would be phased out entirely.
As a result, beginning July 1, 2021, no physical hearings will be permitted in any of the field formations, and all hearings will be performed through the e-hearing module.