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Cellphone service providers allowed to deduct taxes on mobile top-up

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday allowed cellphone service providers to deduct taxes on top-up of prepaid cards months after stopping them from tax deduction, ARY News reported.

The apex court, while reserving the verdict in the case, issued a short order taking back the interim order issued in June last year which barred cellphone service providers to deduct taxes on mobile top-up.

Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa read out the short order, saying the top court would not interfere in matters related to taxation.

In June, 2018, A SC bench headed by then CJ Nisar had suspended the deduction of taxes imposed on the top-up of prepaid cards by cellphone service providers and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

Former CJP Saqib Nisar had questioned how a person who doesn’t fall within tax net is made to pay taxes on mobile phone top-up. Tax should be levied from a person whose cell phone use exceeds the fixed limit, he added.

A three-judge bench comprising of the then chief justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Umar Ata Bandial, had heard the case at the apex court’s Lahore registry.

The court had directed that a comprehensive policy regarding tax on mobile phone cards should be charted out.

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