Highlights of Performance (2019)

Federal Tax Ombudsman's Performance Highlights for

the Year 2019 and its Comparative Analysis with Past Years

 

During 2019, 2510 fresh complaints were registered apart from 202 Own Motion cases. After adding 458 carry forward cases the total complaints summed up to 3171 as compared to 2096 compliant registered in 2018. During 2019, 2633 complaints were disposed off while in 2018, 1880 complaints were disposed off. It is heartiest to note that 93.92% FTO'S decisions were straightaway accepted by the taxpayers and FBR.

Likewise, 93.92% decisions of FTO were straightway accepted by complainants and FBR. 83.33% of the recommendations of the FTO were up –held in representations. Implementation status has been improved, 82.59% recommendations were implemented during 2019, stuck up refunds of RS. 5864.94 million were facilitated by FTO to taxpayers. Average time taken to dispose of a complaint has come down to 57 days against 60 days allowed under FTO ordinance, 2000.

A comparative analysis of performance with previous years is given below:

S. No

Activity

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

1

Cases registered and carried forward

1892

2050

2101

2338

3171

2

Cases disposed of

1610

1807

1860

1880

2633

3

Ratio of cases accepted by FBR and complainants

81.86%

85.40%

88.06%

92.71%

93.92%

4

Ratio of Recommendations Challenged in Review and Representations

18.13

14.60%

11.94%

7.29%

6.08%

5

Ratio of Recommendations Challenged in the  Representations

7.27%

10.46%

9.35%

3.88%

3.60%

6

Ratio of rejection of Representations

77%

53.90%

56.40%

62.69%

83.33%

7

Ratio of implementation of Recommendations

63.72%

72%

84.60%

89.60%

82.59%

8

Amount of Refund facilitated by FTO (Rs. Millions)

734.8

2672.75

3245

6986

5865

9

Outreach and awareness sessions

8

8

12

39

87

10

Average time for disposal of complaints (Working days)

63

49

47

45

57

11

Reports/Budget proposals and recommendations for improving tax administration, sent to FBR

3

4

10

22

34

 

 

 

 

 

Awareness Sessions/Press conferences/media interactions and any decisions on complaint(s) released to media for public awareness

 

(i)         Outreach sessions: A vigorous outreach campaign was undertaken by the Federal Tax Ombudsman and Advisors all over the country. FTO himself held meetings with important stakeholders at various cities. 87 sessions were conducted by Advisors during 2019 compared to 39 sessions to listen the grievances of taxpayers and disseminate information about taxpayer grievance redressal system of the FTO Office.

 (ii)       Media campaign:

1.         SMS service was purchased from a mobile service provider and integrated with CMIS software to send SMS messages to stakeholders. Awareness Campaign was launched via Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to disseminate free of cost Urdu SMS messages to all the mobile users of Pakistan for awareness about mandate and services of FTO's office.

2.         FTO's Quarterly Newsletter is being published regularly and disseminated to government offices, Chambers of Commerce and Industry and selected embassies of Pakistan abroad. 

3.         News stories relating to the performance of FTO Office are regularly being released to major newspapers/news channels of Pakistan and included in the Quarterly Newsletter of FTO's Office. These were also shared on the FTO's social media platforms especially on Facebook page having more than 60 thousands followers.

4.         As part of awareness campaign, hanging information boards, duly reflecting functions of FTO's Office, have been placed at all the FBR formations, offices of CC&I in major cities as well as State Bank branches across the country.

Future Plans/Targets to enhance accessibility

1.         Advertising Agencies have been appointed for launching awareness campaign of FTO's Office through print, electronic and social media.

2.         The hanging information board designed for creating awareness, as mentioned earlier, will now be placed in all the branches of commercial banks in nine major cities of Pakistan during 2020.

3.         A Public Service Message with time duration of 20 seconds has been designed for airing on all the TV channels via Pakistan Electronic Media regulatory Authority (PEMRA).

4.         A study relating to Knowledge, Aptitude and Practice (KAP) survey under a development project of FTO Secretariat titled “Public Awareness & Advocacy Project about Dispute Resolution Mechanism” was assigned to Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE). However, due to present lockdown/Covid-19 situation across the country, it could not be performed. Now it is planned to carried out during the upcoming finical year (2020-21).

5.         At the beginning of the year, target of three awareness sessions per two months was assigned to every Advisor. It was expected that over 200 sessions will be conducted during 2020 by 12 advisors. Now in view of COVID-19 outbreak, the number of such sessions will be lower, but still hoped to be more than 100 to 125.

6.         Presence of facility of filing online complaints on the website of the FTO Office and availability of dedicated android application 'Wafaqi Tax Mohtasib' for mobile phones, available on Play Store are the measures which have increased the accessibility of public to FTO Office. 336 complaints were filed through online system and 05 through mobile application. The mobile application itself had been downloaded 5223 times during 2019 and is expected to be availed more during 2020. 

7.         In order to enhance the presence of footprint of FTO office in print and electronic media, more attention is being paid to disseminate the information. As a result the presence has enhanced significantly in the current year as shown in Annexure-II. 

8.         Existing website of FTO has been redesigned with modern design and functionalities, new menu bar, comprehensive “Contact Us” list, Google map integration for our location and facility of translation to Urdu language. The new version is in pre-launch stage under Quality Assurance (QA) process and will improve easy and better accessibility of FTO office to complainants and taxpayers.