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ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi has asked the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) to raise awareness among the taxpayers about its services in providing relief against the high-handedness and injustices of tax authorities.

“I advised the Mohtasib to launch awareness campaigns regularly across the country in the form of workshops, seminars, and personal visits to the relevant trade, business and investment institutions to highlight the importance of paying just and lawful taxes and to approach the Federal Tax Ombudsman for the redressal their complaints.

The awareness about FTO would encourage a greater number of taxpayers to seek resolution of their grievances and complaints against tax departments,” the president expressed these views while addressing an awareness seminar regarding the services of the FTO on Monday.

Dr Asif Mahmood Jah, Federal Insurance Ombudsman, Dr Muhammad Khawar Jameel, Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment, Kashmala Tariq, advisors to the FTO, members of the business community, and senior officials of the government attended the seminar.

The president also urged the FTO to adopt the latest technology to address a greater number of complaints, besides bringing efficiency in the working of the Mohtasib.

He said that people needed to be educated about the importance of paying taxes and the role of taxes in national development to persuade people to voluntarily pay taxes.

Addressing the occasion, the president said that important and impactful decisions of the FTO, wherein, relief was provided to the complainants, should be highlighted through the media to create awareness about the services of the FTO.

He said that the FTO was playing an important role in discouraging corrupt practices and arbitrary use of authority by the tax officials besides reducing unnecessary delays caused by the tax machinery. He further stated that due to the FTO’s efforts the number of complaints filed with the FTO against the maladministration of tax authorities had increased which was proof of the rising awareness about the FTO among the people.

The president appreciated that the FTO was providing prompt and free-of-cost justice to taxpayers within 60 days without involving the lengthy litigation process.

FTO Dr Jah, while addressing the occasion highlighted that the FTO during the year 2021 had resolved 2,867 cases and had succeeded in reducing the average time taken to resolve complaints from 68 days to 57 days.

He said that during the first six months of the year 2022, over 2,500 complaints had been received by the FTO which had been mostly resolved. He stated that the FTO was providing prompt and cost-free redressal of taxpayers’ grievances at their doorsteps and urged the participants to further highlight the services being provided by the Mohtasib.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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