Around 94,000 Income Tax Refund Cases Pending With FBR

A total of 93,874 income tax refund applications are not processed by 25 Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) field formations, well-informed sources told ProPakistani.

The FBR’s data revealed that the refund processed and disbursed through FBR’s CITRO system from March 2021 to April 2024 stood at Rs. 73.370 billion in 31,480 cases.

Sources said FBR has directed its field formations have been directed to process pending refund applications at the earliest after giving at least three opportunities of being heard of fifteen days each to the refund claimants. Moreover, the field formations have been directed to take utmost care and precautions so that no income tax refund claimant is left unheard.

However, it is also admitted that currently there are no procedures/ rules for the implementation of Section l70A of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 which basically enables the issuance of income tax refunds without any application.

According to sources, currently, the entire income tax refund processing system of the FBR is highly automated and sophisticated. The system has evolved over the years and its software has been so upgraded in a way that no refund of any taxpayer can be deposited in the IBAN/ bank account of another taxpayer. Moreover, there is no tab or command prompt in the CITRO Graphical User Interlace (GUI) which can permit the alteration of any taxpayer’s IBAN/ bank account details.

The system has been so designed and upgraded in compliance with safety/ anti-corruption protocols in line with the policies of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) with the sole aim that only that taxpayer can receive the refund amount in whose name the refund order has been issued. Moreover, only the taxpayer has the right to add/ amend their IBAN/bank account details; FBR’s field formations or the Office of the Chief Refunds/ CITRO has no authority to change any IBAN/ bank account details of any taxpayer.

FBR introduced IRIS 2.0 in August 2023 whereby the e-filing of income tax returns has been streamlined. Now taxpayers can e-file their income tax returns by virtue of online wizard and apply for income tax refunds online and also attach requisite documentation/ evidence in PDF format without any hassle. However, the general population is still unaware of these IT automation processes. The need of the hour is to educate the masses so that they can e-file their returns online and also claim their refunds (if any).

  • The system is so sophisticated that the only way to get a refund is to pay 20-30% in bribes to the officers to get your rightful money back or they would keep the case pending.

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