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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has expressed his displeasure over the behaviour of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chief commissioners and chief collectors for not examining the correspondence made by their sub-ordinate offices with the FTO Secretariat, and just acting as a forwarding post.

In this connection, the FTO has written a letter to the FBR chairman here on Tuesday.

"The FBR is required to ensure that in future all correspondence made by the chief commissioners/collectors with reference to FTO Ordinance, is properly examined and vouched by their respective offices before transmission to this Secretariat," the FTO stated.

According to the FTO, the FBR should ensure compliance to the recommendations made by the FTO.

The chief commissioners/chief collectors, being the supervisory officers of field formations, are always kept in loop, while conducting proceedings under the Federal Tax Ombudsman Ordinance, 2000 (FTO Ordinance) and correspondence with the FBR.

Although response from the said formations is always routed through the offices of concerned chief commissioners/chief collectors/collectors, yet it has been observed with great concern by the FTO that while corresponding with the FTO Secretariat and its regional offices, the chief commissioners/chief collectors/collectors mostly act as forwarding post whereby, only a stereotype covering letter is deemed sufficient.

This is despite the fact that the chief commissioners Inland Revenue have been designated by the FBR as IR-Ombudspersons yet not a single case has surfaced, so far, to show that the FBR's decision is being implemented in letter and spirit.

At FBR HQs and RTOs/CTOs/LTOs.

It was also noted that there is no archiving of the FTO's decisions which had already gained finality.

New cases with identical facts; issues are not treated on the basis of already adjudged, upheld and implemented decisions.

Repeatedly reliance is placed on decisions overruled by the president of Pakistan.

Therefore, there is a need to clearly spell out responsibilities and duties of the above-mentioned supervisory officers for effective control on behalf of chairman FBR, and to get the Revenue Division's instructions implemented in letter and spirit.

The FTO emphasized that this will also help in checking the corrupt malpractices of the officers posted in various field formations.

With this in view, the FBR was requested to ensure all future correspondence made by the chief commissioners/collectors with reference to the FTO Ordinance, is properly examined and vouched by their respective offices before transmission to the FTO Secretariat, the FTO added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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