KARACHI: Tax Ombudsman Asif Mehmood Jah has directed FBR to enforce effective monitoring and enforcement mechanism plugging all loopholes in point of sale regime.

FTO’s recommendations were made while conducting a complaint lodged against FBR’s negligence and inefficiency in the point of sales. The complainant   pointed out a few postpaid tax transaction receipts which were not verified.

Besides, in POS the tax was being charged on eatables too despite being non-scheduled items as per price control Act 1977, the complainant further averred. Not only the tax was illegally being charged. It was not being paid into government exchequer as well. The complainant believed that it was primes responsibility of FBR to plug loopholes in tax collection.

The hearing was attended by Chief POS FBR, Chairman PRAL, and Second Secretary IT, FBR and the complainant.  The representatives of FBR/PRAL/RTO stated that system up-gradation is an ongoing process which PRAL is already doing .It’s enforcement is responsibility of field formations which need to be more vigilant, whereas Secretary POS informed that the points raised by the complainant regarding postpaid vs prepaid tax system are a policy issue and cannot be commented upon by FBR.

However, it has been observed that after putting in place a system of postpaid tax, by PRAL, FBR could not train and motivate it’s field officers to monitor and enforce system effectively. FBR’s statement that procedure for tier – 1 retailers had been introduced, without reporting incidents of enforcement of such rules, was mere eye wash, FTO observed. Mere installation of a system or rolling out defective software was not enough unless effective and efficient monitoring and enforcement follow up was not put in practice. FBR’s negligence in enforcing the PSO system was thus obvious.

Federal Tax Ombudsman had further directed FBR to evolve efficient mechanism in POS regime; a list of credible authorized vendors for sale/installation of software should be published.

Dr. Jah also recommended that all Chief Commissioners must ensure that the registered and functional QR code must be visible in all the invoices and also directed I&II-R to trace and proceed against TIER-1 Retailers who were found involved in tax evasion through non issuance of verifiable tax invoices.