ISLAMABAD: On the directions of President Arif Alvi, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is bound to give an explanation to the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) for unnecessarily contesting the decisions of the FTO before the pesident without sound legal justification of representations.
When contacted, Waheed Shahzad Butt Advocate, who has represented the taxpayer before the President, told Business Recorder that President Arif Alvi while expressing his dismay, said that chasing the small and financially insignificant taxpayers unnecessarily and without cogent and lawful reasons impinged negatively on the image of FBR and also created public resentment against it.
Waheed further added that President Alvi gave these remarks while upholding FTO’s decision in a case where a shop owner from Abbottabad had been registered by FBR as “Tier-1 Retailer” even though he did not fulfil the criteria required for this purpose. The citizen approached FTO over this injustice which passed the orders in his favour. FBR; however, didn’t comply with the decision and preferred a representation with the president.
The president rejected FBR’s representation and directed it to deregister the shop and report compliance within 45 days on the ground that FBR had unjustifiably registered a cloth shop as “Tier-1 Retailer” even though the shop was found lacking lawful criteria and was qualified for deregistration under relevant existing provisions of Sales Tax laws.
Since the complainant’s shop consisted of 594 sq. ft only; therefore, the compulsory registration of complainant by FBR under the Sales Tax was contrary to law, rules, arbitrary/ unjust and was based on irrelevant grounds and tantamount to maladministration.
He stated that the order of FTO was based on sound footings and, therefore, there was no valid justification to interfere with its original order, thus, the representation was being rejected. He further directed FBR to send a report within 45 days of implementation of his order and explain the reasons as to why this miscarriage had happened, justice was delayed and why efforts and time of highest forum was wasted, President ordered.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023