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FAISALABAD: The Federal Tax Ombudsman Dr Asif Mahmood Jah has said that FTO is taking all out measures to address the taxpayers' grievances and rectify the complaints by carrying out independent and transparent investigations about tax maladministration. An automated FTO portal is being launched for immediate resolution of taxpayers' issues.

Addressing the members of Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) here on Monday, he said that textile industry is the backbone of the economy; whereas textile exporters are playing vital role in economic development of the country.

No country could achieve economic targets without the due role of exporters; therefore, his office has left no stone unturned to address the core issues of exporters and industrialists.

He described that custom applet tribunals now have been operational which were non-functional since one and half year. Since assumption of his charge as Federal Tax Ombudsman one month before, about 300 cases of taxpayers have been decided out of them major portion was consist of sales tax and income tax cases.

He informed that an online FTO portal is being launched in line with Prime Minister's portal in order to provide facilitation to tax payers. Moreover, FTO help desks are also being established on all major airports.

Dr Asif Mahmood said that FTO has developed a very simple complaint filing procedure as any aggrieved person could file complaint personally or through courier service, email, online and fax. He said all the complaints were promptly acknowledged by the FTO HQs or its Regional Offices.

He asked business community to give their suggestions to further streamline the complaint redress system of FTO. Responding to a question, he assured that the issue of unnecessary notices by the tax authorities will be taken with the FBR.

Earlier PTEA's Acting Chairman Ameer Ahmad, in his welcome address, commended Government's policies and Prime Minister Imran Khan's revolutionary steps for uplifting the country's exports. He congratulated the Government on achieving highest ever export growth last year.

He appreciated the role of Federal Tax Ombudsman for accountability of maladministration on part of the tax authorities. For improving tax revenue, development of an easy and simple taxation system is the need of the hour, he said and added that an efficient and effective Federal Tax Ombudsman would help provide speedy relief to complainants, promote good governance, reduce tax complaints, improve tax authority performance and enhance tax revenue.

Appreciating Governments exemplary initiative of liquidation of long outstanding refunds of exporters, PTEA's patron-in-chief Khurram Mukhtar said that this has released the financial stress for exporters; however still huge amount of exporters are stuck with FBR in tax refunds. He pointed out that sales tax slab has been increased from 3 percent to 17 percent which has never been practiced in any other country.

He requested FTO to look into the matter as 18 percent of funds have been stuck in refund regime, creating severe financial stress. He stressed that FTO should play role in release of such refunds that would help in addressing liquidity issues of taxpayers.

Later, PTEA insignias were presented to the Federal Tax Ombudsman Dr Asif Mahmood Jah and Advisor Incharge Faisalabad Touqeer Akbar. A large number of textile exporters were present in the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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