ISLAMABAD: The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has the stature of Supreme Court judge and he can award six months’ punishment to tax officials of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) against defiance charges or on charges of contempt of court law.
Addressing a press conference on “Annual Performance of FTO” at the FTO Headquarters on Friday, Senior Advisor Dr Arslan Subctageen along with other advisors informed that only the President of Pakistan is empowered to hear appeal against FTO’s decision.
The FTO advisors said that the FTO has decided Past that FBR should not deduct tax on the income of daily wagers and contract employees, falling below the minimum threshold of taxable income. Similarly, FTO had ordered return of sales tax difference in booking and delivery of cars to their purchasers. As many as ten thousand customers of car company benefited from this landmark decision.
Dr Arslan stated that during a short span of one year, Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) Dr Asif Mahmood Jah has achieved a record and an incredible disposal of 6034 complaints in 2022.
In the year 2022, FTO office received 6959 complaints out of which 6034 have been disposed of, as compared to year 2021, wherein 3371complaints were received, out of which 2868 have been disposed of.
Being a former Senior Tax Officer, the FTO has a vast experience of tax matters and has resorted to maximum utilization of Section 33 of the FTO Ordinance,2000, regarding informal resolution of disputes.
Senior FTO Advisor said that the FTO Office had its presence in seven cities when he took over last year on September 29, 2021. The FTO’s presence has been expanded in year 2022 to other five cities, including Sargodha, Sialkot, Sukkur, Abbottabad and Hub to provide speedy justice to the aggrieved taxpayers at their doorstep.
Besides, as a new initiative, he has appointed 34 leading businessmen as honourary advisors after selecting them from various chambers of commerce and industry to facilitate aggrieved taxpayers in filing the complaints to the office of FTO.
The FTO’s objective is to resolve tax matters of the aggrieved taxpayers on priority basis in a transparent, swift and cost free manner within the shortest possible time span, to achieve these objectives, the FTO has introduced an open door policy; quick disposal and merit-based relief; awareness campaign (87 Sessions); advisory Committee revamped (47 new Members added); creation of Overseas Pakistanis Grievance Redressal Cell; special research studies conducted; translation of FTO Ordinance, 2000, in Urdu and monthly Newsletter.
Dr Arsalan said that no fee is charged against filing of complaint, and a complainant can file his complaint in written form or through what’s app, on webpage or on mobile app of the FTO office.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022