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ISLAMABAD: In order to facilitate the taxpayers, the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) Secretariat has set up a facilitation desk at its premises, which was formally inaugurated by the Tax Ombudsman, Dr Asif Mehmood Jah.

Director-General FTO Secretariat Khaldunul Haq, President ICCI Mohammad Shakeel Munir, Senior Advisor Sarwat Tahira Habib, Senior Advisor Customs Dr Arslan Subuctageen, and Senior Advisor Media Majid Qureshi were also present on the occasion.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Dr Asif said that our main objective is to show respect to the taxpayers with the establishment of the facilitation desk, the taxpayers would now be able to avail all Customs/tax-related services and get their issues resolved within the FTO’s premises at Islamabad. Protecting the interests of taxpayers is the key priority of this organisation and we are constantly providing relief to the taxpayers by carrying out independent investigations about the maladministration by the functionaries administering the federal taxes.

He said that the FTO would work with the FBR for setting timelines for tax cases to ensure their timely disposal.

Dr Asif, while giving a briefing to the media at the occasion said that the performance has been good in the last six months.

About 3,000 complaints were received, out of which, 2,650 have been redressed. He said the time for the redressal of the complaints has been reduced from 68 days to 40 days.

He said that the FTO office was not only handling the taxpayers’ complaints but was also checking maladministration in tax matters through own motion investigations and inspections.

More than 75 own motion cases have been taken up during the last sixth months, he further added. To provide quick and cheap justice to the taxpayers, the FTO is also contacting the taxpayers through social media.

ICCI President Munir said that the appointment of the business advisors by the FTO has proved to be a welcome initiative which has not only helped in resolving tax issues but also brought the business community together with the FTO. It has helped in promoting a favourable tax culture. A question and answer session was followed by the briefing.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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