ISLAMABAD: The Federal Tax Ombudsman disposed of as many as 1811 complaints during the calendar year 2017, which is 87.8 percent of the total 2061 cases registered with it, related to income tax, sales tax, customs duty, federal excise, freedom of information and other related issues.
Out of total 2061 complaints of 2017, just 250 (12.1) were pending with the Ombudsman Office till the compilation of this report; official sources told APP here Thursday while providing the provisional data about its performance and operations during the outgoing year (2017).
In total the FTO had received 1818 fresh complaints during the year (2017) whereas 243 complaints were carried forward from the last year (2016), out of which 1811 were disposed of where as 250 were pending and were at different stages of judicial process, sources added.
Out of total disposed off complaints, 1568 were fresh where as 243 were carried forward from 2013,the sources added.
As compared to the data of last year (2016), the number of fresh complaints registered with FTO during 2017 witnessed increase of 2.82 percent as these went up from 1768 in 2016 to 1818 during 2017. On the other hand, the carry forward applications decreased by 13.8 percent by falling from 282 complaints in 2016 to 243 complaints in 2017.
The disposal of complaints by FTO witnessed a slight increase of 0.22 percent in CY2017 when compared to the disposal of 1807 complaints in 2017.
Meanwhile, the number of review petitions filed with FTO during 2017 stood at 63 compared to 143 during 2016, showing decline of 56 percent.
According to details, out of total review petitions filed in CY2017, as many as 50 complaints were fresh whereas 13 were carried forward from 2016. In 2016 the number of fresh complaints stood at 103 whereas 40 were carried forward from 2015.
The FTO during 2017 disposed of 55 review petitions including 42 fresh and 13 carried forward from 2015, sources told APP adding that in year 2016, the FTO had disposed of 130 complaints including 90 fresh and 40 carried forward from 2015. Just eight review petitions are still pending with the FTO, the sources added.
Meanwhile, the sources said that many recent initiatives were being undertaken by FTO Secretariat to provide inexpensive and speedy justice to the taxpayers aggrieved by tax maladministration. For this purpose two more regional offices were being operationlised at Faisalabad and Peshawar.
A state of the art online complaint filing system is also being put in place to reduce time and cost of complaint filing, they said adding that the objective of introduction of information technology was to achieve a highly enabled paperless environment.
In addition, an FTO – taxpayer interface has been established through periodic meetings with Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Trade Bodies, Business Associations, Tax Bars and the Civil Society Organizations in the country.