FTO orders FBR to refund decided cases of exporters’ claim

KARACHI: The Federal Tax Ombudsman, Abdur Rauf Chaudhry has ordered the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to refund and clear all such refund claims to the exporters that have been decided. On Tuesday the Honourable Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) while addressing the members of Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that in order to facilitate the exporters he by himself would approach the FBR to make payments of already settled refund claims within the specified time limit. He said that he will also instruct the FBR to arrange the publishing of Customs’ daily list of Import and Export through Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL) in order to facilitate the business community and to promote the transparency in the international business transactions.

Responding to a question he noticed that the demand of Tool Tax twice at Karachi Northern Bypass which tantamount to double taxation would be addressed in accordance with law in the larger public interest.

The FTO also assured to monitor the expensed being made by Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) from export development surcharge meant for the promotion of export trade in accordance with relevant legal provisions but grossly misused.

In his welcome address, President LCCI, Ismail Suttar said that the institution of FTO has risen to the expectations of those about one million Pakistanis who had fallen prey to official apathy, incompetence and maladministration. It is the satisfaction for all concerned that this institution has disposed off about 70,000 cases by the end of 2013 which is really quite appreciative and an exemplary performance for other public institutions. The FTO Office is also watching the pending cases of sales tax refund claims amounting to more than Rs. 97 billions and the issues relating to this matter.

In our opinion the reduction of the rate of sales tax and income tax, as has been suggested by the business community, will not only reduce the complaints against the tax collecting agencies but also will broaden the tax-base in the country.

Regarding the matter that when your FTO decides any case against the FBR, who file an appeal with the Office of the President of Pakistan and this takes quite a long time to be decided and thus the significance of your justified judgment goes in vain. This has been a general conception amongst the business community.

Earlier Advisor to FTO Office, Quetta, Mr. Justice (R) Muhammad Nadir Khan, Advisor to FTO Regional Office, Karachi, Manzoor Ahmed Kureshi and President, Lasbela Chamber, Ismail Suttar highly appreciated the office of FTO, which is a last resort for the aggrieved members of the business community to get relief. He said that it is quite encouraging that majority of members of Lasbela Chamber have no issues pertaining to taxation because of the efficiency of commissionerate of Inland Revenue, Hub and the Collectorate of Customs at Gaddani.

However he invited the attention of the FTO towards the problems of general nature like delay in issuing the Refund Cheques by FBR, the matters of expenses made from the fund of export development surcharge etc.

Dr. Muhammad Aslam, former President LCCI, appreciated the visit of FTO along with his colleagues to the Lasbela Chamber. He also appreciated the business community that always plays the role of economic engine to ensure the continuation of economic activities and growth.

Collector of Customs, Gaddani, Syed Tanvir Ahmed, Additional Commissioner Inland Revenue, Hub, Abdur Rehman Khilji, former President LCCI, Dr Muhammad Aslam and Chairman LCCI Taxation Committee, Iqbal Ismail also spoke on the occasion.

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