FTO express displeasure over mechanical reply by IRS top officers, ask to ensure compliance to the recommendations made by Federal Tax Ombudsman

KARACHI: Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has expressed his displeasure over the behavior of FBR chief commissioners and chief collectors for not examining the correspondence made by their sub-ordinate offices with FTO Secretariat, and just acting as a forwarding post.

Chief Commissioners/Chief Collectors, being the supervisory officers of field formations, are always kept in loop while conducting proceedings under Federal Tax Ombudsman Ordinance, 2000 (FTO Ordinance) and correspondence with FBR. Although response from the said formations is always routed through the offices of concerned Chief Commissioners/Chief Collectors/Collectors, yet it has been observed with great concern by the Hon’ble Federal Tax Ombudsman that while corresponding with FTO Secretariat and its Regional offices, the Chief Commissioners/Chief Collectors/Collectors mostly act as forwarding post whereby only a stereotype covering letter is deemed sufficient. This is despite the fact that the Chief Commissioners Inland Revenue have been designated by FBR as IR-Ombudspersons yet not a single case has surfaced, so far, to show that FBR’s decision is being implemented in letter and spirit. At FBR HQs and RTOs/CTOs/LTOs .It was also noted that there is no archiving of Hon’ble FTO’s decisions which had already gained finality. New cases with identical facts & issues are not treated on the basis of already adjudged, upheld and implemented decisions. Repeatedly reliance is placed on decisions overruled by the Hon’ble President of Pakistan. Therefore, there is need to clearly spell out responsibilities and duties of the above-mentioned supervisory officers for effective control on behalf of Chairman FBR, and to get the Revenue Division’s instructions implemented in letter and spirit. The Federal tax ombudsman emphasized that this will also help in checking the corrupt malpractices of the officers posted in various field formations. With this in view, FBR was requested to ensure all future correspondence made by the Chief Commissioners/Collectors with reference to FTO Ordinance, is properly examined and vouched by their respective offices before transmission to FTO Secretariat.

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