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ISLAMABAD: Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has issued an important ruling that the act of non-consideration of all grounds of appeals by the Commissioner Inland Revenue (Appeals) is tantamount to maladministration under the FTO Ordinance.

According to an order passed by the FTO on Saturday, the FTO has expressed concern that a Commissioner Inland Revenue (Appeals) Karachi passed an order arbitrarily against the taxpayer without considering grounds of appeals.

The FTO order revealed that the FTO office feel that the CIR (Appeals) did not consider all the grounds of the appeals of the appellant/ Complainant and passed orders arbitrarily without considering all the grounds of the appeals. In this backdrop, CIR (Appeals) is found to have not adjudged any grounds of appeals on its merit with the contention that the appellant/ Complainant did not comply with the notices issued by the concerned officer before he proceeded to pass orders under Section 161/205 of the Ordinance. This argument is contrary to law as per provisions of Section 129(1) of the Income Tax Ordinance.

“The act of non-consideration of all grounds of appeals by the Commissioner IR (Appeals) is tantamount to maladministration in terms of the provisions of the FTO Ordinance”, FTO ruled. As all grounds of appeals have not been considered, it is a mistake apparent from record liable to be rectified under section 221 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001. The CIR (Appeals-VI), Karachi, may rectify this mistake on his own motion as per law or the Complainant may also file miscellaneous application to the Commissioner IR (Appeals-VI), Karachi for rectification as per law.

The arguments of the Complainant; however, were not considered by the Commissioner IR, Appeals VI, Karachi who dismissed the Complainant’s appeal vide separate orders with his findings that since the notices issued to the appellant by the concerned officer remained un-complied despite issuance of reminders therefore the Departmental action of passing of the impugned orders by the concerned Assistant/Deputy Commissioner IR call for no interference and he confirmed all the orders.

FTO has recommended the FBR to direct Member-IR(Legal) to ensure that Commissioner IR, Appeals VI, Karachi rectifies the order on his own motion or upon an application filed by Complainant and consider all grounds of appeal as per law and after providing opportunity of hearing.

The FBR should direct the Chief Commissioner IR, RTO-l, Karachi and Director General, Directorate General of Training & Research IR, to arrange for specialized training at DOT, Lahore for the Assistant/ Deputy Commissioner IR, who had passed the impugned orders u/s 161/205 of the Ordinance.

The FBR should also direct the Commissioner IR, Zone-V, RTO-l, Karachi to immediately detach all bank accounts of the Complainant, and the officers, who have violated FBR’s instructions, should be reprimanded, FTO order added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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