KARACHI: The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has recommended the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to avoid unnecessary filing of frivolous representations before the President of Pakistan in cases involving action against corrupt tax officials.
According to the FTO’s annual report (2020), the unnecessary filing of representations on the settled points of law and procedure, particularly when action against tax officials was recommended on account of neglect, inattention, delay, incompetence, inefficiency, ineptitude and corrupt motives, was another issue of concern. This not only went counter to principal of accountability, but it delayed the redressal of grievances of complaints with haemorrhage to revenue and continuation of maladministration. This issue was repeatedly taken up with FBR, FTO office added.
Since 2019, out of 617 Representations, 590 were filed by the tax department. 103 representations were decided during 2020, out of which 88 were rejected and only 2 representations were accepted. This not only shows that the department often filed frivolous representations but is also proof of the qualitative and merit-based disposal of complaints by the FTO.
The higher rejection ratio of review petitions filed by the complainants/FBR during 2020 is also manifestation of the fact that initial recommendations were prepared following stipulated laws and regulations and no lapse or irregularity was noticed during Review proceeding.
It was repeatedly noticed that objection on the jurisdiction of FTO was raised as a common practice even in cases, where the limitations did not apply. The FBR hierarchy was sensitised about it to exercise judicious restraint in this regard, FTO report added.