The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to “direct all staff to respond to taxpayers’ letters within 10 days as soon as possible,”
Pakistani taxpayer’s rights
An order in favor of Pakistani taxpayer’s rights. Where it has been violated by most tax employees, including senior officials under the Federal Tax Ombudsmen (FTO) Ordinance, 2000,
According to Business Recorder report in this regard, the Registrar FTO has been contacted by a tax lawyer Waheed Shehzad Butt that the legal position in his original letter and spirit needs to be strictly enforced. And non-compliance requires strict legal action against FBR employees.
Explaining the provisions of the FTO Ordinance 2000, tax lawyer Waheed Shehzad Butt told to the Business Recorder that the FTO had exercised the powers of the Supreme Court under Section 16 in matters relating to contempt, exercises, exchanges. Punishment of anyone who “abuses, interferes with, impedes, imperils, or obstructs the process of the FTO in any way or disobeys any order of the FTO”. In the Islamabad High Court, the Auditor General of Pakistan, etc. v. Federal Tax Ombudsman (WP 1238/2013) has acknowledged the powers of the FTO.
Waheed added that it was in the public interest that the people of Pakistan should not feel helpless after receiving the FTO (especially on the issue of taxpayers’ rights) orders. But such orders are annulled by the employees of the revenue Division. Therefore, there is a landmark order in the field, issued by the FTO in C No. 524/2010, in which the esteemed FTO explicitly recommended. “Instruct all staff to respond to taxpayers’ letters as soon as possible within 10 days”. For enforcement purposes, FBR issued special instructions in past also on March 03, 2011 through letter no. C.No.6 (23)/Coord/2011-29707-R.
Least Implementation of FTO orders
Unfortunately, no one in the FBR is willing to follow a decision of the court. No one accepts the rights of the taxpayers when it comes to CCIR, ADCIR, and DCIR. The senior officers representing the FBR shows least interest in implementing FTO orders.