FTO terms less number of returns filing shameful for tax machinery

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KARACHI: Dr Muhammad Shoaib Suddle, Federal Tax Ombudsman, has said that the tax machinery should feel ashamed as only 700,000 are filing income tax returns, of over 180 million population of Pakistan.



“In this culture, how can we run the country,” Dr Suddle said at the 56th annual dinner hosted by the Karachi Tax Bar Association (KTBA) on Wednesday night.


At present, around four million income tax returns should have been filed as compared to Indian population where return filing is around 25 million, he said.


The FTO stressed the need to promote tax paying culture and said that the country needs role models. “Leaders should become the role models in paying liabilities,” he added.


He also stressed the need to penalise wrongdoers to create deterrence in the system. “High punishments are available in the law but no one is punished,” he said, adding that the machinery has to create ability to prosecute. “Send 20-25 top tax evaders every year behind the bars,” he said.


Dr Suddle said that the country is facing serious economic crisis and it is time to payback. “At this time, we need quality leadership and each of us has to contribute,” he added.


Poor administration is the hallmark of Pakistani system, he said. “System is deteriorating and the state functionaries are not working well,” he said, adding that the failure in collecting taxes threatened our existence.


The FTO office has not been successful in achieving results in stopping maladministration in the revenue department. “It is a big task for the FTO to stop where over 90 percent maladministration is observed in the department,” he added.


Dr Suddle highlighted the performance of the FTO office during his tenure and latest amendments to the ombudsman laws.


Regarding ISAF containers scam, he said, the case is before the Supreme Court and case has become sub judice. For the last 27 months not much was implemented, he said, adding that the FTO report on the scam is instrumental in reducing smuggling and the exchequer is receiving additional Rs1 billion every month.


Munawar Hassan Shaikh, president of the KTBA, praised the performance of the FTO office in redressal of taxpayers’ grievances.


“The FTO office is unmatchable to any other forum, as it is taking action and giving prompt relief to the taxpayers,” he added.


He said that the taxpayers are facing problems in getting sales tax registration. The implementations of the FTO orders are taking time at the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), he said.


Later, Shaikh introduced Haider Patel as the new KTBA president, who was elected unopposed for the year 2013.

Courtesy:  The News


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