LAHORE: Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) Asif Mehmood Jah while disposing of a complaint related to non-finalization of provisional assessment within the prescribed time under section 81 of the customs Act, has directed FBR to ensure systemic improvements in WeBOC so as to enable the Assessing Collectorates of Customs to monitor the progress of provisional assessments on regular basis.
Brief facts of the case are that M/S A.M Corporation imported eight consignments of Tyres and Tubes and filed Goods Declarations during the period December 2020 to February 2021 which were provisionally assessed under section 81 (1) of the Act as the complainant’s request for revision of valuation ruling was pending with Director General (Valuation) Custom House, Karachi.
As per details, the provisional assessment was supposed to be finalized within the time frame prescribed (six months) which had not been done despite lapse of more than 2 years in similar cases.
The FTO sought Secretary Revenue Division for comments, the Collector of Customs, MCC Karachi informed that the request for revision of valuation ruling was pending with the Director General (valuation), as no response was received .It was also further informed that once the goods are provisionally assessed by the appropriate officer, the goods declaration on WEBOC window is transferred to Directorate of Valuation for necessary action without leaving any trace or link for the assessing officer to monitor progress.
Thus, it was evident that the Directorate failed to respond to the complainant’s request for the revision of valuation ruling despite lapse of almost two years and had returned GDs to the collectorate without any advise for final determination of value.
FTO observed that 280 cases of provisional assessment including those under the instant complaint remained un attended and were returned back to Collectorate without any input/advice despite the fact that a substantial amount of revenue was involved in these cases.
FTO’s order also recommended that the Director Reforms &Automation should address this shortcoming in the WeBOC system and fix the same on priority. The Collectorate should immediately develop Change Request Form (CRF) and sent the same to Director, Reforms & Automation for systemic Updation enabling the assessing Collectorate to monitor the progress on regular basis.
Tax Ombudsman has further directed FBR to fix responsibility on delinquent officials who had failed to discharge their responsibility in accordance with law and could not finalize the provisional assessment resulting in blockage of substantial amount of government revenue.