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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has summoned top officials of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL) to investigate a case where a professional advocate has been compulsorily registered as a retailer, through issuance of illegal Sales Tax Registration Number.

In this regard, the FTO has directed the CEO, PRAL, Member IR-Operations FBR, secretary Revenue Division, and the Chief-CIR, RTO, Lahore to appear before the FTO on August 2, 2021.

In this case, a professional advocate has been compulsorily registered as a “retailer”, through issuance of illegal sales tax registration number on fraud documents by misusing CNIC by PRAL/FBR tax employees.

It is reliably learned that a tax lawyer, Waheed Shahzad Butt, has moved a complaint before the FTO to thoroughly investigate the registration process at the FBR/PRAL.

The FTO has ordered to conduct an investigation and a case has been fixed for 02.08.2021 for hearing by the FTO Regional Office at Lahore. The FTO has been informed that the complainant advocate is a taxpayer citizen of Pakistan, practicing senior lawyer, and a whistle-blower in dozens of cases of public interest.

The issue under question is very sensitive, where it has been accused that some FBR employee recommended for compulsorily registration on the basis of “so-called sales” declared in income tax returns and concerned LRO/PRAL/FBR officials compulsorily register a professional advocate as a “retailer”. Waheed told this correspondent that when the whole system of submission of applications, verification of data/documents is under the command and control of the FBR/PRAL, how and why CNIC of some citizens have been misused?

It is inevitable to investigate the whole matter that how the sales tax registration number has been issued without any consent of taxpayer.

The FTO notice states, “Whereas case has been fixed for hearing on 02.08.2021 at 11.00am, you are once again reminded to ensure the submission of comments/reply well before 02.08.2021 and appear for hearing on the aforementioned date and time personally or through your authorised attorney/advocate.”

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