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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has recommended strict disciplinary/criminal action against inefficient, delinquent, and corrupt tax officials of the FBR, blocking admissible refunds of the business community.

Sharing performance of the new FTO since joining of Dr Asif Mahmood Jah, officials acknowledged that the refund-related complaints are the main issue of taxpayers in the Inland Revenue Service (IRS).

On the Customs side, refund as well as maladministration regarding anti-smuggling and auctions is the major issue.

In 822 cases, the taxpayers were able to get refunds/duty drawback of Rs8.5 billion due to timely action by the FTO during 2021.

During the last three months, 853 cases/complaints of taxpayers were disposed of by the FTO office.

The number of complaints received during 2021 stood at 3,371 against 3,888 received in 2020. The FTO office has disposed of 2,867 complaints/cases against total 3,371 complaints, reflecting a balance of 504.

Complaints against FBR: FTO provides relief to a number of taxpayers

Out of total complaints received, income tax complaints stood at 59.06 percent; sales tax 19.28 percent; customs duty 21.41 percent, and federal excise duty (FED) complaints amounted to 0.25 percent.

Out of income tax complaints, 73.59 percent are related to income tax refunds.

Within the category of sales tax, 51.10 percent complaints are related to sales tax refunds.

Out of total complaints of FED, 42.86 percent are related to the refunds.

Within the category of customs duty, 45.03 percent complaints are related to customs duty.

Breakup of data revealed that the FTO office has accepted 89.15 percent complaints filed by the taxpayers during 2021. Out of this, 10.85 percent FTO’s recommendations were challenged. In 2020, 80.03 percent complaints were accepted.

The recommendations in 2,238 complaints were implemented by the FBR during 2021, compared to 2,255 during 2020, official said.

The FTO has taken up 245 own motion cases during 2021 and disposed of 162 cases, reflecting a balance of 83 cases.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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