ISLAMABAD, JAN 10 (DNA) — The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has resolved 8,128 complaints against the maladministration of tax and customs authorities during the year 2023 as compared to 6,106 complaints in 2022. Furthermore, the registration of complaints increased by almost 24% as 8,076 complaints were filed in 2023 compared to 6,480 in 2022.
FTO has also provided a relief of Rs 17.74 billion to taxpayers in 2023 as compared to Rs 7 billion in 2022. This was highlighted during a briefing given to President Dr Arif Alvi, who visited the FTO Office in Islamabad, today.
Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO), Dr Asif Mahmood Jah, Advisors to the FTO, regional heads, and senior officials of the FTO attended the meeting. Dr Asif Mahmood Jah briefed the President about the FTO’s overall performance, outreach and initiatives taken for the facilitation of taxpayers.
He informed that FTO provided free-of-cost justice to complainants against the maladministration and high-handedness of tax officials within 60 days, adding that the average time taken for the disposal of complaints had been reduced to 44 days during 2023.
While highlighting the achievements of FTO, he stated that FTO was a public-relief-oriented organization that had provided tax relief to low-paid employees, teachers, salaried class, pensioners, and purchasers of vehicles through its decisions.
He further said that FTO was making efforts to increase its outreach and registration of cases by opening new regional offices, establishing a helpline, and raising awareness through seminars, and interactions with the business community in various cities of the country. He apprised that FTO was also actively working to create awareness about its role and services in tax matters using social media and mass messaging through cellular companies.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that FTO should further accelerate its efforts to increase the registration and disposal of complaints, besides increasing its outreach to taxpayers. He also called for enhanced coordination between FTO and FBR for the timely implementation of its decisions, and bringing improvements in the tax regime.
He remarked that an improved tax system was essential to increase tax and revenue generation in Pakistan, which would help improve our economy as well as reduce the country’s dependence on loans.
The President highly appreciated FTO’s performance that had provided relief of Rs 17.74 billion to complainants, besides addressing 8,128 complaints last year. He also urged the need to provide timely relief to complainants, especially overseas Pakistanis. — DNA