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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has summoned Member Inland Revenue (Operations) Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for not responding to specific tax-related queries regarding instructions issued by the FBR for attachment of bank accounts of power distribution companies for tax recovery by field formations.

It is reliably learnt that a specific complaint has been lodged before the FTO after silence from May 5, 2023, to September 1, 2023, on the part of respondents/FBR for not clarifying a simple matter pertaining to avoidance of futile litigation at the cost of taxpayer money in courts. Some FBR’s field formations are violating instructions issued by FBR in the attachment of bank account of DISCOs, NTDC, and CPPAG in recovery measures and circular bearing CNo 6(21)S(IR-Operations)/2017/35481-R dated 20.03.2017, have been ignored and violated by the field formations.

FTO notice states “Reference is invited to this office letter dated 05.09.2023 wherein you were required to submit para wise comments by 19.09.2023, however, neither same have been submitted, nor any request for extension of time has been received, whereas case has been fixed for hearing on October 4. The officials are once again, reminded to ensure the submission of comments/reply well before October 4, 2023 and appear for hearing on the aforementioned date and time personally or through authorized attorney or departmental representative not below the status of BS-18/19, with all the record and witnesses, you wish to produce and examine.

Specific instructions issued by the FBR to all field formations vide circular bearing CNo6(21)S(IR-Operations)/2017/35481-R dated 20.03.2017, have been violated by the field formations. Previously through a high-level meeting arranged between the authorities of the FBR and the Ministry of Water and Power, it was decided that recovery from the taxpayers could be affected through dialogue and in an amicable manner.

The complainant states “a quite simple and unambiguous matter was communicated to the respondents/FBR vide email dated 05.05.2023 followed by two written reminders dated 09.08.2023 and 28.08.2023, but all in vain, nobody at FBR 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 Article 4 and 5 of the Constitution.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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