ISLAMABAD: Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to de-attach the bank account of the taxpayer and immediately return the illegally recovered pay order to the complainant.
According to the latest order of the FTO office, despite clear instructions of the Commissioner Appeal, the Regional Tax Office (RTO) Rawalpindi has committed maladministration by not following the order of the Commissioner Appeals.
The complainant is an individual who alleged that an ex-parte order was passed on October 27, 2021 by the RTO Rawalpindi pertaining to tax year 2019 whereby illegal demand of Rs 8,174,083 was recovered. An appeal was filed before the Commissioner Appeals and it granted stay order against the recovery of the disputed tax demand.
On the same day (January 24, 2023) the taxpayer shared the order with the department and concerned bank manager. However, the department on the same day (January 24, 2023) arrived at the bank to get the pay order from the bank manager.
The recovery officer get the pay order despite stay order with commitment/assurance to the banker that the pay order shall not be deposited in the bank for clearance. Despite the commitment and valid stay order, the department presented the pay order in the bank.
The taxpayer requested that the FTO should pass an appropriate order without further delay and direction be issued to the FBR to take action against the responsible officers.
The Commissioner Appeals-III issued clear instructions that during stay period no coercive measure shall be adopted by the department. It was also directed to the department to de-attach the bank account of the appellant immediately.
Despite stay order and clear instructions of the appellate authority, the demand was hastily recovered from the complainant’s bank account. It is further noticed that the concerned office is still holding pay order.
FTO order added that making recovery through coercive measure disrespecting legal order the appellate authority on the part of the department is contrary to law and arbitrary, unjust and unreasonable which constitute maladministration.
FTO has directed the FBR to issue instructions to the Commissioner IR to comply with the stay order issued by the Commissioner Appeals-III, FTO order added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023