LAHORE: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) urged the federal tax ombudsman to stop Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) officials from harassing businesses under various pretexts.
FPCCI leadership asked the ombudsman on his visit to the Federation House to put a stop to FBR officials’ misinterpretation of rules, misuse of discretionary powers, unjustified notices and engagement in other malpractices. The officials said that the business community remained cognizant of the fact that they would be hammered one way or another for being vocal and getting relief from the FTO.
FTO Asif Mahmood Jah’s efforts to provide relief to taxpayers on complaints filed against malpractices or undue taxation were appreciated by FPCCI President Ifran Iqbal Sheikh and other senior business leaders.
FTO Dr Arif Mahmood Jah, who was accompanied by a team of his senior officers, pledged to protect and provide quick justice to taxpayers against all kind of malpractices, misinterpretation of rules and harassment by tax collecting officials.
However, FPCCI president maintained that getting relief from FTO on filling complaints against the tax-collecting machinery was not the ultimate solution. “Systemic changes in the statutes and its fair application would include some of the solutions to provide business friendly taxation environment,” he added.
Sheikh emphasised on legal protection against all kind of alleged malpractices by FBR officials that hampered growth of businesses, and urged to stop retaliation by tax authorities when the complaints were filed with the FTO. “These complaints would increase multifold if the complainants were provided with legal protection,” he added.
FPCCI leaders also requested the FTO to intervene in the capacity building of the tax collectors to escape unnecessary litigation, embarrassment of taxpayers and disruptions to businesses. They pointed out that in many cases, FBR field officials remained posted on the same post or station for long years which needed rationale.
Besides, the FTO conceded to consider the suggestions by FPCCI leadership; most of which were agreed in the meeting.
He said FTO secretariat wanted to meaningfully accomplish its task of protecting taxpaying business community against malpractices and harassment by tax collectors.
“Any aggrieved taxpayer can file a complaint by post on Form-A, online or through FTO mobile app available on FTO website,” Jah said. FTO was an institution for prompt, quick and cost free justice at door-step of taxpayers, he concluded.