President asks taxpayers to approach FTO for free and fast justice

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday urged taxpayers and the business community to approach the office of the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) through its complaint system for redress of their tax grievances on a priority basis.

Addressing an awareness seminar on FTO services here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, he said that the FTO ensures prompt dispensation of justice regarding tax related petitions at the doorstep of complainants.

President Alvi stressed the commitment of entrepreneurs and the general public to increase awareness of FTO services and expand the reach with the aim of creating a fair, just and equitable tax system.

He mentioned that FTO was indeed working to implement its mandate to provide free justice to taxpayers within approximately 60 days, and even without requiring the complainant to hire an attorney.

He said he was pleased that the OTF had handled 2,867 complaints out of the 3,371 received during the year 2021 and added that the significant increase in the number of complaints indicated the increased confidence of taxpayers in the OTF office. .

He welcomed that the average complaint handling time has also been reduced from 68.43 days in 2020 to 57.29 days in 2021.

He said it was the responsibility of all institutions under the government to improve their performance and stressed that addressing taxpayers’ issues immediately would promote tax culture in the country.

President Alvi said that FTO was acting as a relief-oriented public institution with the introduction of a rapid complaints registration system and the formulation of strategies for rapid resolution of tax-related issues.

The President mentioned that he studied every case received from FTO before issuing a verdict on the appeals. He said FTO’s intervention resulted in a huge tax claim being created and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) recovering millions in mega-cases.

Dr. Alvi pointed out that several complaints related to small sums of money could be resolved as soon as possible. Federal Tax Ombudsman Dr. Asif Mahmood Jah said efforts were underway to make FTO a public-friendly organization and a platform for speedy administration of justice.

He said FTO protects the public treasury by detecting illegal refund claims through its own initiative investigations as well as inspection of FBR offices. He specified that an amount of Rs 8.499 million was reimbursed in 2021 against Rs 8.242 million in 2020.

The percentage of complaints in the income tax category affected 59.06%, sales tax at 19.28%, customs duties at 21.41% and federal excise duties at 0, 25%. He mentioned that FTO encouraged stakeholders to be part of the tax net and dismissed the impression that the body was against FBR’s actions.

He said all advisors in OTF regional offices had begun dealing with specific immediate cases to use the provision available under section 33 of the OTF Order 2000 for informal dispute resolution.

Dr Jah said FTO Facilitation Offices have been established at major airports and border customs posts to provide necessary information and immediate relief to travellers. The awareness seminar brought together officials from chambers of commerce and industry, businessmen and tax experts.

The President, Dr. Arif Alvi, on Monday urged taxpayers and the business community to contact the Office of the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) through its complaints system for redress of their tax grievances on a priority basis.

Addressing an awareness seminar on FTO services here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, he said that the FTO ensures prompt dispensation of justice regarding tax related petitions at the doorstep of complainants.

President Alvi stressed the commitment of entrepreneurs and the general public to increase awareness of FTO services and expand the reach with the aim of creating a fair, just and equitable tax system.

He mentioned that FTO was indeed working to implement its mandate to provide free justice to taxpayers within approximately 60 days, and even without requiring the complainant to hire an attorney.

He said he was pleased that the OTF had handled 2,867 complaints out of the 3,371 received during the year 2021 and added that the significant increase in the number of complaints indicated the increased confidence of taxpayers in the OTF office. .

He was pleased that the average complaints processing time had also been reduced from 68.43 days in 2020 to 57.29 days in 2021. He said it was the responsibility of all institutions under the Government of improve their performance and stressed that solving taxpayers’ problems immediately would promote the country’s tax culture.

President Alvi said that FTO was acting as a relief-oriented public institution with the introduction of a rapid complaints registration system and the formulation of strategies for rapid resolution of tax-related issues.

The President mentioned that he studied every case received from FTO before issuing a verdict on the appeals. He said FTO’s intervention resulted in a huge tax claim being created and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) recovering millions in mega-cases.

Dr. Alvi pointed out that several complaints related to small sums of money could be resolved as soon as possible. Federal Tax Ombudsman Dr. Asif Mahmood Jah said efforts were underway to make FTO a public-friendly organization and a platform for speedy administration of justice.

He said FTO protects the public treasury by detecting illegal refund claims through its own initiative investigations as well as inspection of FBR offices. He specified that an amount of Rs 8.499 million was reimbursed in 2021 against Rs 8.242 million in 2020.

The percentage of complaints in the income tax category affected 59.06%, sales tax at 19.28%, customs duties at 21.41% and federal excise duties at 0, 25%. He mentioned that FTO encouraged stakeholders to be part of the tax net and dismissed the impression that the body was against FBR’s actions.

He said all advisors in OTF regional offices had begun dealing with specific immediate cases to use the provision available under section 33 of the OTF Order 2000 for informal dispute resolution.

Dr Jah said FTO Facilitation Offices have been established at major airports and border customs posts to provide necessary information and immediate relief to travellers. The awareness seminar brought together officials from chambers of commerce and industry, businessmen and tax experts.


Elna M. Lemons