Islamabad: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has begun hearing tax audit and assessment cases through the internet.

According to a press release issued on Tuesday “To assist taxpayers, the FBR has introduced applications for electronic hearing of tax audit and assessment cases. The e-hearing module in FBR’s Iris portal was activated and functionalized to achieve this.”

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The module allows for online hearings from dedicated hearing rooms set up in field formations and from taxpayers’ homes.

It stated that the e-hearing will be registered 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.

These four locations have allowed online e-hearings from dedicated e-hearing rooms and from taxpayer locations.

In the second phase, all remaining field formations will have e-hearings activated and operationalized.

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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.

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