Federal Tax Ombudsman Pakistan

There shall be a Federal Tax  Ombudsman who shall be appointed by the President.

The National responsibility of Federal Tax Ombudsman  is to diagnose, investigate, redress and rectify any injustice done to a person  through maladministration by functionaries administering tax laws;

Within three months of the conclusion of the calendar year to which the report pertains, the Federal Tax Ombudsman shall submit an Annual Report to the President.

“Maladministration” includes,-

(i) a decision, process recommendation, act of omission or commission which-

(a) is contrary to law, rules or regulations or is a departure from established practice or procedure, unless it is bona fide and for valid reasons;

(b) is perverse, arbitrary or unreasonable, unjust, biased, oppressive, or discriminatory;
(c) is based on irrelevant grounds; or
(d) involves the exercise of powers, or the failure or refusal to do so, for corrupt or improper motives, such as bribery, jobbery, favouritism, nepotism, and administrative excesses;

(ii) neglect, inattention, delay, incompetence, inefficiency and ineptitude, in the administration or discharge of duties and responsibilities;

(iii) repeated notices, unnecessary attendance or prolonged hearings while deciding cases involving —
(a) assessment of income or wealth;
(b) determination of liability of tax or duty;
(c) classification or valuation of goods;
(d) settlement of claims of refund, rebate or duty drawback; or
(e) determination of fiscal and tax concessions or exemptions;

(iv) wilful errors in the determination of refunds, rebates or duty drawbacks;
(v) deliberate withholding or non-payment of refunds, rebates or duty drawbacks already determined by the competent authority;
(vi) coercive methods of tax recovery in cases where default in payment of tax or duty is not apparent from record; and
(vii) avoidance of disciplinary action against an officer or official whose order of assessment or valuation is held by a competent appellate authority to be vindictive, capricious, biased or patently illegal.


Refer:

Federal Tax Ombudsman Ordinance – 2000


Jurisdiction of the Ombudsman

The Federal Tax Ombudsman may on a complaint by any aggrieved person, or on a reference by the President, the Senate or the National Assembly, as the case may be, or on a motion of the Supreme Court or a High Court made during the course of any proceedings before it or of his own motion, investigate any allegation of maladministration on the part of the Revenue Division or any Tax Employee.

The Federal Tax Ombudsman shall not have jurisdiction to investigate or inquire into matters which-

(a) are subjudice before a court of competent jurisdiction or tribunal or board or authority on the date of the receipt of a complaint, reference or motion by him; or

(b) relate to assessment of income or wealth, determination of liability of tax or duty, classification or valuation of goods, interpretation of law, rules and regulations relating to such assessment, determination, classification or valuation in respect of which legal remedies of appeal, review or revision are available under the Relevant Legislation.

A complaint could be filed for maladministration in connection with the following laws

i. the Provisional Collection of Tax Act 1931 (XVI of 1931);
ii. the Commercial Documents Evidence Act, 1939 (XXX of 1939);
iii. the Central Excises Act, 1944 (I of 1944);
iv. the Customs Act, 1969 (VI of 1969);
v. the Workers’ Welfare Fund Ordinance, 1971 (XXXVI of 1971);
vi. the Prevention of Smuggling Act, 1977 (XII of 1977);
vii. the Income Tax Ordinance, 1979 (XXXI of 1979);
viii. the Import of Goods (Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties)
Ordinance, 1983 (III of 1983);
ix. section 7 of the Finance Act, 1989 (V of 1989);
x. the Sales Tax Act, 1990;
xi. section 12 of the Finance Act, 1991 (XII of 1991);
xii. such other laws having nexus with taxation as the Federal Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, specify to be the Relevant Legislation for the purposes of this Ordinance; and
xiii. the rules, regulations and notifications made or issued there under.

Recommendations for implementation

(1) If the Federal Tax Ombudsman is of opinion that the matter considered amounts to maladministration, he shall communicate his finding with a recommendation to the Revenue Division within a period of sixty days from the date of receipt of the complaint, reference or motion, as the case may be.

(2) The Revenue Division shall, within such time as may be specified by the Federal Tax Ombudsman, inform him about the action taken on his recommendations or the reasons for not complying with the same.

Power to punish for contempt

(1) The Federal Tax Ombudsman shall have the same powers, mutatis mutandis, as the Supreme court has to punish any person for its contempt who-

(a) abuses, interferes with, impedes, imperils, or obstructs the process of the Federal Tax Ombudsman in any way or disobeys any order of the Federal Tax Ombudsman;

(b) does anything which tends to prejudice the determination of a matter pending before the Federal Tax Ombudsman; or

Representation to President

The Revenue Division or any person aggrieved by a recommendation of the Federal Tax Ombudsman may, within thirty days of the recommendation, make a representation to the President who may pass such order thereon as he may deem fit.