ISLAMABAD        -        While appreciating Federal Tax Ombudsman’s role in resolving taxpayers’ complaints against maladministration of tax authorities and in unearthing irregularities in taxation system, President Dr. Arif Alvi has emphasized the need to create more awareness on the forum’s efficacy through traditional and digital media.

Talking to Federal Tax Ombudsman Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera who called on him here Friday, the President emphasized the need to create more awareness about the efficacy of the forum by utilizing the traditional as well as digital media.

The president expressed his satisfaction over the proper utilization of traditional and digital media by the FTO Office to promote awareness among the taxpayers regarding free services for redressal of complains and efforts to digitalize FTO office using IT based Complaint Management Information System (CMIS).

He also eulogized the development of a mobile phone application to facilitate the taxpayers in complaint registration process as well as establishment of paperless office environment in FTO Secretariat.

He noted there is a room for improvement in the law of Federal Tax Ombudsman to make this institution more effective in order to provide speedy justice to the taxpayers.

He assured his support to the institution in the discharge of its duties and functions.

Federal Tax Ombudsman Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera presented report on performance of FTO office during 2019 along with comparative figures of last five years, which showed significant growth in almost all measurable indicators of performance from 2015 to 2019.

President Arif Alvi was apprised that sanction and payment of stuck up tax refunds of Rs. 5864.94 million were facilitated to the taxpayers and 82.59% recommendations made by the FTO Office were implemented by FBR and its subordinate officers during 2019.

He apprised the president that the majority of the taxpayers’ complaints were about grievances in the assessment processes which was not the FTO’s mandate.

However, improvement in the law of FTO office would empower it to look into such matters.

The Federal Tax Ombudsman reported that during 2019, FTO office received 2510 fresh complaints and 202 own motion cases involving huge revenue and glaring maladministration, were registered.

After adding 458 complaints carried over from previous year and some inspection report based cognizance, all registered cases totalled to 3171. Out of these, 2633 complaints were disposed of during the year 2019, compared to 1880 complaints redressed during the calendar year 2018.