Kathmandu: The Supreme Court has upheld its old order not to compel businessmen to file taxes until the lockdown is fully open. A joint bench of Chief Justice Cholendra Shamsher Jabra and Justice Prakash Kumar Dhungana refused to quash the earlier interim order. The government had filed a petition seeking revocation of the order.
Last Thursday, Justices Anil Kumar Sinha and Dr. Manoj Kumar Sharma’s joint bench concluded that the businessmen were in trouble due to the lockdown and ordered to file tax returns and revenue only 30 days after the lockdown. Concluding that the order would block the country’s revenue collection process, the government went to the Supreme Court seeking its repeal.
Officials of the Ministry of Finance and Revenue Administration are extremely dissatisfied with the interim order of the Supreme Court. A revenue official had raised serious questions at a three-party meeting at the Attorney General’s Office last Friday. “Should they be paid from the revenue collected in the government coffers, and not pay taxes until the timber is opened?” Said the senior revenue official. “If the timber is not paid, will the judge agree?” Dissatisfied, he demanded its repeal.
With this order of the Supreme Court, even the taxpayers who have paid sporadic taxes will be able to avail the concession. This is because there is a record of businessmen paying Rs 38 billion in taxes. Earlier, the full bench of the Supreme Court had interpreted the fact that only public transport was open as ‘lockdown would be considered open’. In this regard, the entrepreneurs will be ready to pay the tax only after one month of running the public transport. According to the government’s blueprint, there are no plans to open public transport in June. From that point of view, it seems that the tax will be collected only at the beginning of August.