ISLAMABAD   -   Federal Tax Ombudsman Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera has termed the understanding of the tax laws while developing an integrated information system for taxation as vital.

Federal Tax Ombudsman made these remarks while visiting the head office of Pakistan Revenue Automation (Pvt) Ltd (PRAL) where he held a meeting with CEO PRAL Muhammad Gohar Ahmed Khan and his team. Senior advisors of Federal Tax Ombudsman Secretariat and FBR officials were also present on the occasion.

GM PRAL gave Federal Tax Ombudsman introduction about the setup and performance of PRAL, however interjections were made by different members of the team whenever an occasion arose. He explained about the modules, which were completed, and under process in WEBOC. The GM PRAL also explained the issues relating to the rollback and PRAL processing in carrying forward issues in FASTER system. On the question of load bearing capacity of the system during the peak days of the filing of the returns, PRAL management informed that they had upgraded the hardware, which is now capable of handling pressure of work at any peak hour.

On the Refund Management System, the Federal Tax Ombudsman discussed with them the issues found out during the investigation relating to the smuggling of mis-declared items from the green channel. He advised the PRAL to help FBR in specifying better risk parameters. 

Similarly, in the IRIS module, the Federal Tax Ombudsman apprised the PRAL about the shortcomings of monitoring and reporting system of Commissioner Appeals. 

On the subject of registration and broadening of Tax base, the Federal Tax Ombudsman gave his input for adopting more verification measures and seeking help from the data by WAPDA and Sui gas authorities, to identify the potential taxpayers. He appreciated the work done in constant update of end-to-end automation in FASTER module of refunds, specially the response to the taxpayers through SMS.  

The Federal Tax Ombudsman emphasized on integration of data sources and various modules used by FBR. He shared with the participants examples of number of successful investigations where due to some deficiencies in the, big scams were unearthed. He particularly focused on the issues relating to the flaw in system and design for Tax amnesty scheme. Federal Tax Ombudsman urged the PRAL team to be more vigilant and proactive while designing the system to eradicate tax evasion and other malpractices. He emphasized that system should be able to identify taxpayers so that the tax base is broadened for realization of full revenue potential.