Inquiry Ordered By FTO Against Commissioner Of Inland Revenue

In recent news, the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has issued orders to carry out an inquiry against Fiza Batool, the Commission for Inland Revenue for the Corporate Tax Office Lahore (CTOL), a subsidiary belonging to the FBR, as well as various others. This includes another commissioner and the two are going to be investigated for the alleged abuse of their authorities, in order to achieve tax targets. 

The FBR Chairman and the Secretary of Revenue Division have both been assigned the duty to conduct an inquiry against the accused by the FTO office. They are to submit a complete investigation and response by the 5th of July. 

The FTO went on to say that the large tax offices of the FBR, as well as its corporate tax offices, are currently operating all over the country but, on a functional basis. As of now, the tax being generated by the various audit zones is being given to the Demand Enforcement Zones. 

According to this arrangement, the tax liability is to be determined on business transactions in order to charge tax. Moreover, it specifically stated that this function belongs to the audit function. 

As per the details provided, Waheed Shehzad, a tax lawyer, while representing a taxpayer, filed a plea against various officers at the CTOL. 

Later on, the FTO instructed the FBR Chairman and Secretary of the Revenue Division to take actions against the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, as well as Bilal Hassan, the Inland Revenue Additional Commissioner, and Ahmed Akmal, the Assistant Commissioner. 

The petitioner has stated that the CTOL officials in question have misused their authorities and used it to send notices to various taxpayers that pertain to sub-clause 4 of Section 170. They went on to point out that this particular section of the Income Tax Ordinance deals with audit notices and refunds. Therefore, it does not enable relevant authorities to issue notices against taxpayers. 

Sources went on to add that several officers of field formations that comprise corporate tax offices of the FBR, as well as large tax offices, have been found guilty of misusing their authorities to audit taxpayers. In addition, it was also alleged that tax was unjustly demanded from people to achieve tax targets assigned for the ongoing financial year.