KARACHI: The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has concluded its investigation into the valuation of real estate in Bahawalpur region and has advised the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to keep track of the market prices and revise the property rates periodically.

The FTO had initiated four investigations on its own motion regarding the valuation of agricultural land, private housing societies, commercial plots/buildings and farm houses in Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Lodhran and Rahim Yar Khan districts. The FTO found that the valuation process of immovable property was being carried out by the tax officials under the Pakistan Raises Revenue Projects (PRRO), a taxation reform initiative supported by the World Bank, to develop uniform valuation tables of immovable properties.

The FTO noted that FBR had issued SRO1269(I)/2022 dated 1st August, 2022 based on the recommendations of the Regional Tax Office (RTO) Bahawalpur, which had consulted with the relevant District Revenue Authorities to align the valuation tables with the prevailing market rates. However, the FTO also observed that some District Revenue Authorities had expressed their inability to increase the valuation of certain properties beyond a certain percentage due to the restrictions imposed by the Punjab Revenue Board. Therefore, the FTO recommended that RTO Bahawalpur should remain vigilant with regard to prevailing market rates in real estate sector and periodically revisit all the proposed rates of immovable properties through continuous exercise of making them compatible with the existing market rates. The FTO also suggested that FBR Policy wing (IR) should timely notify the additions & amendments proposed by RTO Bahawalpur in this regard.