FPCCI Calls for FTO Intervention to Address FBR Maladministration, Aims for Fair Taxation System

Karachi, In a recent press release issued by the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), Mr. Atif Ikram Sheikh, President of FPCCI, has called for the utilization of the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) to address issues of maladministration within the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). The business community is seeking fair treatment from the tax authority, advocating for a corruption-free and broadened taxation system. Sheikh emphasized the need for the FTO to be equipped with advisors and technocrats from various sectors to ensure inclusive and effective tax reform.

According to Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Sheikh outlined the primary goals for reforming the FBR, including the broadening of the tax base, simplification of the tax system, and separation of tax collection from adjudication powers. These measures aim to align with the requirements of businesses and the economy. The FPCCI president also highlighted the FTO’s role in providing thousands of fair, swift, objective, and cost-free resolutions to taxation and customs disputes.

Further input from FPCCI officials, including Mr. Saquib Fayyaz Magoon, SVP, and Mr. Asif Sakhi, VP, underscored the critical need for separating tax collection and adjudication roles to avoid maladministration, harassment, and corruption. Magoon criticized the FBR's negligence in responding to correspondence from FPCCI, while Sakhi praised the FTO’s unbiased and merit-based dispute resolutions. Mr. Aman Paracha, another VP at FPCCI, pointed out specific anomalies in the taxation of bulk tea imports, advocating for a correction in line with the Sales Tax Act 1990.

Dr. Asif Mahmood Jah, Federal Tax Ombudsman, reassured the business community of the FTO's mandate and performance, noting that a significant majority of complaints are resolved in favor of the complainants. He also expressed his desire to reduce the resolution time for complaints from 40 days to 40 hours and highlighted the FTO's role in inspecting and researching tax issues, despite its limitations in directly reprimanding tax officials.

The call for reform by the FPCCI reflects a concerted effort to ensure a fair, efficient, and transparent taxation system in Pakistan, addressing longstanding grievances of the business community against the FBR’s operational challenges.