ISLAMABAD - Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) Dr Asif Mahmood Jah has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to evolve a proper transparent mechanism for timely issuance of exemption certificates after the expiry of prescribed period to bona-fide tax payers without any hassles.

Speaking to industrialists and traders at the meeting of an awareness campaign on Sunday, the honorary Coordinator to FTO Meher Kashif Younis said he brought to the notice of the FTO about delay in issuance of exemption certificates and taxpayers are facing acute hardships due to delay. He said the FTO was kind enough who immediately took notice and get the issue addressed. Younis further informed the members of the delegation that appeals of taxpayers were stuck up at appellate tribunals for years and the FTO taking prompt action on the complaints of business community, directed the FBR to devise a monitoring mechanism for quick disposal of cases and tailor an effective policy and guidelines for all field formations. He said in another important decision, the FTO stopped excessive tax deductions from low paid employees from their pays and wages across the country which provided relief to millions of beneficiaries.

The FTO further observed that low paid regular/adhoc/temporary and daily wager don’t fall under the category of tax deductions and exempted all of them. Younis said as a result of the series of awareness seminars, workshops and visits to all leading chambers and trade bodies, the FTO secretariat received a record number 116.4 percent more complaints in first half of current calendar year than the last year which reflected the trust and confidence of taxpayers for immediate redressal of their genuine and lawful grievances. However, he said, 654 complaints were not maintainable and were turned down while 654 were withdrawn being bearing fruits. He reiterated that the FTO secretariat was open to all taxpayers and they ought to avail the facility without hiring any counsel. He said complaints can be filed in person, through emails, fax, WhatsApp or via telephone to any of the nearest FTO regional offices. Members Executive Committee Lahore Chambers Shahid Nazir and Mufti Yousaf Shah were also present on the occasion.