ISLAMABAD: Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) is striving hard to dispose of complaints in a reasonable period of time; however, time taken by the FBR and its field offices in filing comments, or dealing with complainants for filing a rejoinder and referring the rejoinder for further comments are the main reasons of delay in disposing of the complaints, it is learnt here.
Official sources told Customs Today that the time taken for disposal of a complaint is counted from the date of filing of a complaint with the FTO office. The ‘Establishment of Federal Tax Ombudsman Ordinance, 2000’ provides disposal of a complaint in 60 days. Keeping in view the difficulties faced by the taxpayers, efforts were made to reduce the time period for disposal even further. The average time taken for investigation and disposal of complaints worked out to be 47 days in 2017 as compared to 49 days during 2016. Holding of hearings, drafting of findings and approval of the recommendations are also some reasons delaying the process sources confirmed.
Sources also said that preponderance of findings in favor of complainants which is at least 74% in 2017 indicates that the complaints of the taxpayers are generally based upon facts and their dissatisfaction and discontentment from the tax-collectors is not without reasons. It warrants FBR to address systemic flaws which show that such a high number of complaints have been decided against the functionaries of FBR.