The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to honor the spirit of the government policy to help the families of deceased government servants by giving salary and other benefits including refunds of excessive tax deductions.
The directions were issued by the FTO while disposing-off the case of non-issuance of Rs. 280,000 refund for tax years 2019 to 2021 which was an excessive tax deducted from the salary for the family of a deceased school teacher who died during service.
According to the FTO, the husband of the late Raheela Nusarat, who was a PET (EST) teacher at Government Girls High School Khoora, District Khushab, complained to the FTO against non-issuance of Rs. 280,000 refund for the tax year 2019 to 2021 which was excessive tax deducted from the salary of his deceased wife who died on 25th Aug 2018 due to the heart attack. Among other benefits, her family received her salary till the date of her superannuation i.e. 20th September 2021.
According to the complainant, the district account office deducted excessive tax which was unlawful and biased. Neither the district account office helped them nor the local tax office refunded the tax deducted unlawfully as no tax was leviable on the income of the deceased.
According to the FTO, it is crystal clear that deductions were made by the account office on her salary at a higher rate than the rates mentioned in the ordinance. On the other hand, the complainant was also required to file the returns of income for tax years 2019 to 2022 as the legal representative of his deceased wife.
The FTO recommended that the tax department is bound to facilitate the complainant, honouring the spirit of the government policy whereby families of deceased government servants are helped by providing them with salary and other benefits.
The FTO further stated that the tax department has deducted tax on the salary at a very high rate in this case. The process of facilitation must not be stuck in legal literalism. Therefore, the concerned Commissioner-IR is directed to assist, guide, and accommodate the complainant in filing returns of the relevant tax years and processing refund as per law.
The complainant is also advised to submit all required documents to the department for early completion of the proceedings. Subsequent to the filing of documents by the complainant, a compliance report is required to be submitted by the department within 45 days, said FTO.