FTO Directs FBR to Dispose of Pending Tax Refund Claim for Tax Year 2018

Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to dispose of pending tax refund claims for the tax year (TY) 2018 and ensure that the concerned commissioner revisits the case.

The complainant in the case was a government servant whose application for tax year 2018 was rejected on the basis that evidence of tax deduction was not attached with the application.

FTO sought comments of Secretary Revenue Division. The Chief Commissioner – Inland Revenue Regional Tax Office informed that complainants’ application for refund had already been rejected as there was no refund application pending.

During the investigation of the subject complaint, FTO made the observation that the case order u/s 170(4) is a classic example of departmental inattention and incompetence as the one-page order dated August 19, 2020, for tax year 2018 categorically states at Para 3 of the order that “Necessary evidence of tax payments is placed on record.”

However, in the concluding para of the same order, the officer says that the taxpayer neither furnished any evidence regarding tax deduction manually nor attached any evidence in support of the refund claimed. In view of the above facts of the case, the refund application is rejected.

Contradiction and carelessness are more than evident, no opportunity for a hearing was given to the aggrieved taxpayer prior to passing the rejection order. In addition to departmental attention, tax deduction mainly relates to section 236K which was CNIC based and internally verifiable from FBR’s portal.

In view of the above, the Ombudsman directed FBR to pay the tax refund for the tax year 2018 to the aggrieved taxpayer as per law and directed that the concerned commissioner revisits the impugned order.

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