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Pleas of Moonis Elahi, others against tax on overseas property dismissed


Jan 21, 2015

Pleas of Moonis, others against tax on overseas property dismissed

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday dismissed a set of petitions filed by the taxpayers, including former federal minister Chaudhry Moonis Elahi, challenging the levy of capital value tax on the properties outside the country.

The petitioners, through their counsel, submitted that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had no jurisdiction to levy the tax on the citizens for owning immovable properties abroad. They argued that the property tax was a provincial subject and the federal government could not interfere in it. They asked the court to set aside the tax recovery notices issued by the FBR.

Opposing the petitions, Assistant Attorney General Sheraz Zaka argued that the capital value tax on the immovable properties was a federal subject. He relied upon a 1992 judgment, saying that the situation remained the same even after the 18th Amendment. He said no statute could be declared unconstitutional on the basis of extraterritoriality.

The law officer said the courts should refrain from indulging in the policy matters, particularly pertaining to the economy and the fiscal statutes. He argued that the courts were to presume constitutionality of a law enacted by the legislature.

Justice Asim Hafeez dismissed the petitions and declared the impugned show-cause notices issued to the petitioners by the FBR valid.


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