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TAX NEWS - may 2010

Pakistan Tax: Pak authorities issue notices to Sharifs for payment of tax

Lahore - Pakistani authorities have issued notices to PML-N chief and former premier Nawaz Sharif, his wife Kalsoom Nawaz, his brother Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shahbaz for payment of wealth tax of over Rs 10 million for 1994-98.

The Sharif family, instead of paying the amount, has challenged the notices issued by the Excise and Taxation Department in the Supreme Court.

The family's lawyer, Malik Tariq Aziz, said in a petition filed yesterday in the apex court that the calculation of tax by authorities was made under Rule 8(2) of the Wealth Tax Act of 1963.
He pointed out that under this rule, the tax department has to take into account the face value of shares of non-registered companies and their market value and calculate the tax on the higher figure.

In actual practice, the shares of the family's companies registered with the stock exchange were taxed at their lower value, Aziz said.

"The market value is higher, the tax was levied on the face value and vice versa," he added.

Aziz said this practice had violated the Wealth Tax Act of 1963 and was contrary to different articles of the Constitution.

He asked the court to declare illegal the assessment of wealth tax by the tax department and set aside the notices issued to the Sharifs.

Fakharuddin Chaudhry, the spokesman for the Punjab wing of the Pakistan People's Party, has criticised the Sharif brothers, saying it was unfortunate that they are evading the payment of taxes.

"If people of this stature evade tax, then no one will pay taxes in the country," he said.
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