FTO Directs FBR to Issue Rs. 19,245 Tax Refund Pending for 5 Years

While disposing of a complaint, the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to ensure requisite correction in tax refund orders amounting to Rs. 19,245 for the tax year 2017.

Briefly, the complainant was a retired Inspector-IR, who filed an income tax return for the tax year 2017 claiming an income tax refund amounting to Rs. 19,968. The department issued a refund order under section 170(4) of the Ordinance determining a refund of Rs. 19,245 on 09.06.2022. However, no refund was credited to the bank account of the complainant despite repeated visits.

The Federal Tax Ombudsman referred the complaint to the secretary revenue division for comments. The Chief Commissioner IR stated that the refund order had already been passed and the Secretary (Revenue Budget), FBR had also been requested to transfer the refund to the declared bank account of the complainant.

On the contrary, Chief Manager-IR (Operations) stated that the relevant Assessing Officer passed the order with the rejected amount and he did not insert any amount against the field ‘refund issued’. Therefore, the subject matter may please be forwarded to the relevant field office for rectification of the issue.

While concluding the proceedings, FTO observed that the department issued a refund order under section 170(4) of the Ordinance determining a refund of Rs. 19,245 for the tax year 2017 almost after five years to a retired Inspector of his own department. But no refund was credited into the bank account due to a mistake in the order, in IRIS by the Assessing Officer who failed to insert any amount against sanctioned refund amount at the bottom of the refund order causing unnecessary delay and harassment.

In terms of section 170(4) of the Ordinance FBR is required to issue the refund within sixty days of the filing of the refund application which it has failed to do so. Therefore, non-payment of refund within the statutory period of sixty attracts maladministration under section 2(3)(ii) & (v) of the FTO Ordinance.

Accordingly, the FTO has directed FBR to ensure the requisite correction in the refund order for the tax year 2017 as pointed out by PRAL’s Chief Manager -IR (Operations) and Secretary (Revenue Budget), to transfer the refund amount to IBAN of the complainant at the earliest.

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