KARACHI: The Federal Tax Ombudsman Secretariat is focused on providing inexpensive and speedy justice to the taxpayers aggrieved by tax maladministration.
The core function of FTO is disposal of complaints of tax maladministration promptly, justly, fairly, independently investigated, and to rectify any injustice done to a taxpayer by actions of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) officials.
This was stated by Shahid Ahmed, adviser (Customs / sales tax), FTO, during his visit to the PHMA House, Karachi for interactive session with Pakistan Apparel Forum.
Addressing the chairmen of value-added apparel associations, he said that during 2018, the FTO Secretariat received around 2,400 complaints; whereby, 25 percent complaints were resolved at the initial stage.
Around 72 percent decisions of complaints were arrived in favour of the taxpayers, he said, adding that the FBR has not filed any representative in 93 percent complaint cases being disposed by the FTO.
As result of cognizance and orders passed by FTO the taxpayers have received refunds worth Rs6.89 billion. Currently, FTO dispose of complaints in 43 days timeline, which was previously 60 days and efforts are underway to further reduce this timeline.
The ratio of complaints being filed with the FTO related to income tax is 54 percent, sales tax 26 percent and Customs 12 percent.
Presently, the focus of FTO Secretariat is on the implementation of the orders in the interest of justice for the taxpayers, Ahmed said.
Exchanging views, the adviser articulated the taxpayers in their own interest should report to FTO the maladministration by the FBR officials.
He recalled that on the request of Pakistan Apparel Forum, the FTO took cognizance of the grievances being faced by exporters regarding pending sales tax refunds, attachment of bank accounts, blacklisting and other taxation matters and had given orders to redress the grievances with compliance; thereof, to all concerned.
The FTO is fittingly exercising it powers to address the grievances and complaints.
Responding to the issues highlighted by Jawed Bilwani, chairman of the Pakistan Apparel Forum, he urged the exporters to file their complaints in their respect to their old refund cases and all other FBR-related matters.
He assured the FTO Secretariat would consider taking motion against the procedural lacking, delay tactics, harassment and maladministration of the FBR officials against taxpayers, as apprised by Pakistan Apparel Forum.
Earlier, Bilwani welcomed the adviser and appreciated that FTO was providing speedy justice to the exporters in their grievances regarding long pending refunds of sales tax, Customs rebate and income tax.