ISLAMABAD: The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has summoned Member Legal (Inland Revenue) Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in a complaint for his silence to clarify the matter of futile litigation and binding circular issued by the FBR to follow orders passed by the Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue Pakistan (ATIR).
Member Legal has been summoned for 24-08.2023 at FTO Lahore Office because the office of the Member Legal has disregarded the authority of the FTO to submit comments on complaints that have been investigated by the FTO. This disagreement centers around the delineation of responsibilities and the potential implications for the objectivity and impartiality of the investigation process.
It is reliably learnt that on the basis of a complaint moved by a tax lawyer, Waheed Shahzad Butt, the office of the FTO had issued notice to the secretary Revenue Division and FBR Member Legal to submit a reply to the allegations contained in the complaint and appear before the FTO at Regional office at Lahore on August 24, 2023. The FTO will probe the allegations of maladministration as to why the FBR’s legal wing is not vigilant to respond to queries raised by the taxpayers.
The complainant Butt added, in the instant case meaningful long silence (30.05.2023 to 21.08.2023) on the part of Member Legal for not clarifying a simple matter pertaining to avoidance of futile litigation at the cost of taxpayer money in court, reflects nothing but extreme maladministration of justice, worst incompetence and blunt violation of fiscal laws.
Nobody at FBR-Legal is ready to accept their professional obligation to perform duties in accordance with Section 206 of the ITO, 2001, the FBR Act, 2007 read with Articles 4 and 5 of the Constitution.
It has been observed with grave concern that various Commissioners Appeal are involved in blunt violation of orders passed by the ATIR, while in the light of FBR’s Circular-Letter No: 1(7) DT-14/92 dated 10/02/1992 with the subject “Orders of Tribunal binding on tax officials” it was categorically directed to show proper respect to the orders of the ATIR as they are of binding nature on all subordinate income tax authorities and required under the law to be followed. Whether the forum of CIR-Appeals can disregard and disobey any order passed by the Final Fact Finding Authority (ATIR) while deciding appeals where the same issue has been contested by the same taxpayer, Waheed Butt added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023