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ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) has referred a case to Dr. Asif Mahmood Jah Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) to investigate the allegations of maladministration by Commissioner Inland Revenue, Large Taxpayer Office, Islamabad and Member Information Technology, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and submit report within three months.

It is reliably learnt that a constitutional petition has been moved in IHC through a Lahore based lawyer, Waheed Shahzad Butt, against the tax authorities including Commissioner-IR, DCIR, Enforcement-LTO, Islamabad and Member Information Technology. The petition was filed by a taxpayer seeking income tax refunds from LTO Islamabad and implementation of order issued by ATIR, Islamabad to highlight the role of some LTO/ PRAL/ IT-Wing employees in maltreatment, who allegedly changed ATL status of taxpayer, petitioner accused.

IHC order stated that the Court has perused the response filed by the respondents together with report of the inquiry carried out by Commissioner Inland Revenue to comply with the directions issued by the learned Tribunal. The report seems perfunctory to put it politely. The basic allegation of the petitioner against the tax department is that it has indulged in malfeasance and maladministration by deliberately including the name of the petitioner in In-Active Taxpayer List to sabotage its ability to have its refund processed.

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Earlier IHC ordered: “The petitioner is aggrieved by failure of the respondents to give effect to the order of the ATIR dated October 4, 2021. The learned counsel for the petitioner states that in order to frustrate issuance of refund the petitioner was placed on malafide basis on the In-Active Taxpayer List in order to create a ground to deny the refund. He states that the Tribunal had further ordered CIR LTO Islamabad to conduct an inquiry in relation to five questions framed by the learned Tribunal to determine whether the error entered into by the CIR was due to technical malfunctioning of the system or human indulgence.

This Court finds that this is an appropriate case for being referred to the FTO pursuant to Section 9(1) of the FTO Ordinance, 2000, so that the allegation of maladministration against relevant tax officials can be investigated, IHC order added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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