Islamabad, January 03, 2024, The Europe Today: The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) played a pivotal role in addressing grievances related to tax maladministration in 2023. The year witnessed a robust outreach campaign conducted by the FTO office, aiming to raise awareness about its mission of providing prompt and free justice to taxpayers and the general public.
Advisors from the FTO Secretariat and Regional Offices actively engaged with various stakeholders, conducting 115 seminars and sessions, a significant increase from the previous year.
To enhance accessibility, an advanced automated Complaint System (COMSYS) was introduced, allowing online registration of complaints through the official website (https://fto.gov.pk/onlineComSys).
Furthermore, the FTO office embraced modern communication channels, enabling complaints via WhatsApp (0334-0544460) and email (firstname.lastname@example.org). This multifaceted approach reflects the FTO’s commitment to transparency, efficiency, and public engagement.
In the pursuit of upholding justice and ensuring fair practices in the tax administration, the Honourable President of Pakistan has consistently supported and endorsed decisions and recommendations made by the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO).
Notably, 86.01% of representations filed by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) or complainants against FTO decisions have been affirmed by the President, significantly bolstering public confidence in the FTO’s role and judgments. To further assist aggrieved taxpayers and guide the general public on the complaint filing process, a dedicated Helpline has been established at the FTO Secretariat in Islamabad.
The Revenue Division (FBR) has shown a positive response to FTO recommendations, leading to improvements in various systems. This includes the issuance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Circulars, and Orders addressing critical aspects such as the de-registration of NTN/STRN for deceased taxpayers, discouraging fictitious litigation, and establishing a code of conduct for Anti-Smuggling officials during interactions with the public for suspected or smuggled non-customs-duty-paid (NCP) vehicles.
Moreover, FBR’s adoption of simplified mechanisms for return filing and tax payment for salaried individuals and pensioners, following FTO recommendations from Own Motion Investigations, exemplifies a commitment to refining tax processes in favor of the taxpayers’ legal rights. The FTO office remains dedicated to intervening in cases of legitimate complaints against tax officials and systems that undermine legal rights through maladministration, thereby combating financial corruption.