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SC dismisses Sharif family’s appeal seeking revaluation of wealth tax

Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) dismissed on Thursday an application filed by the Sharif family seeking revaluation of wealth tax on their shares in various companies.
During the court proceedings, the Federal Bureau of Revenue counsel informed SC that the matter regarding wealth tax had been finalised by the apex court in 2001. “The authorities have been collecting wealth taxes as per the decision of the court,” he said. He maintained that the application held no substance.
After hearing arguments from both sides, the top court decided to uphold earlier verdict and dismissed the Sharif family’s appeal seeking review of wealth tax payments.In the 1990s, Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif, Kalsoom Nawaz , Hamza Shehbaz and others challenging the evaluation of their wealth tax. The top court had dismissed their applications.
Speaking to The Express Tribune in February 2016, Advocate Malik Tariq Aziz had said that Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif were directed by the Lahore tax commissioner to pay more than Rs10 million as wealth tax on the value of their business shares for financial years 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000, 2000-2001 within the stipulated period.
The counsel added that under this rule, the Income Tax Department took into account the face value of shares of non-registered companies and their market value and calculated the tax on whichever was higher.
By contrast, the shares of the companies listed on the stock exchange were taxed in accordance with the lower value. If the market value was higher, the tax was levied on face value and vice versa. The counsel had previously submitted in the SC that this rule was discriminatory and violation not only of the parent law, the Wealth Tax Act of 1963, but also of Articles 4, 18, 24, 25, 141 and 142 of the Constitution.