FTO Saves an Octogenarian Overseas Pakistani From Additional Taxation

While disposing of a complaint, Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to revisit the impugned order for the tax year 2016 in the case of an 86-year-old overseas Pakistani.

The FTO came into action after a show cause notice was issued to an 86-year-old complainant to file income tax year 2016. However, being an old non-resident with no Pakistan source of taxable income, he was not required to file an income tax return for the said year. The complainant provided the supporting evidence, however, FBR without considering the reply of the complainant, imposed a penalty of Rs.25,000.

Therefore, the senior citizen took up the matter with the FTO. The commissioner informed FTO that the complainant’s reply was received by FBR, but his claim was devoid of any merit as no supporting documentary evidence was furnished.

FTO’s finding stated that the FBR should have taken care of senior citizens before taking any adverse action. It was also averred that the concerned officer denied receipt of any reply from the complainant whereas the complainant submitted documentary evidence of receipt of FBR’s replies. It appeared that the commissioner did not even bother to read the impugned order as well as his comments, he added.

Thus, FTO’s order further stated that impugned penalty order without considering the reply of 86 years old non-resident person was not only contrary to law but was also perverse, unjust, biased and oppressive causing administrative excesses contrary to the principle of natural justice.

In view of the above, Tax Ombudsman directed FBR to revisit the impugned order for the tax year in terms of section 122A of the ordinance after affording a proper opportunity of hearing to the complainant in accordance with the law.

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