President Dr Arif Alvi has called for explanation from FBR over unnecessarily contesting the decision of the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) before him without sound legal justification in a financially insignificant case and wasting the time and efforts of the highest office of the country.
While expressing his dismay, he said that chasing the small and financially insignificant taxpayers unnecessarily and without cogent and lawful reasons impinged negatively on the image of FBR and also created public resentment against it.
Relevant Read: President directs FBR to undo unjust taxation
The President gave these remarks while upholding FTO’s decision in a case where a shop owner from Abbotabad had been registered by FBR as “Tier 1 Retailer” even though he did not fulfill the criteria required for this purpose. The citizen approached FTO over this injustice which passed the orders in his favour. FBR, however, didn’t comply with the decision and preferred a representation with the President.
The President rejected FBR’s representation and directed it to deregister the shop and report compliance within 45 days on the ground that FBR had unjustifiably registered a cloth shop as “Tier-1 Retailer” even though the shop was found lacking lawful criteria and was qualified for deregistration under relevant existing provisions of Sales Tax Laws.
The President observed that since the complainant’s shop was consisting of 594 sq. ft only, therefore, the compulsory registration of complainant by FBR under the Sales Tax Rules, 2006 was contrary to law, rules, arbitrary/unjust and was based on irrelevant grounds and tantamount to maladministration.
He stated that the order of FTO was based on sound footings and, therefore, there was no valid justification to interfere with its original order, thus, the representation was being rejected.
He further directed FBR to send a report within 45 days of implementation of his order and explain the reasons as to why this miscarriage had happened, justice was delayed and why efforts and time of highest forum was wasted.