Highlights of Performance (2020)

Federal Tax Ombudsman's Performance Highlights for

the Year 2020 and its Comparative Analysis with Past Years

 

During 2020, 3332 fresh complaints were registered apart from 1 inspection and18 Own Motion cases. After adding 383 carry forward cases the total complaints summed up to 3888 as compared to 3171 compliant registered in 2019. During 2020, 3555 complaints were disposed off while in 2019, 2633 complaints were disposed off. It is heartiest to note that 80.03% FTO'S decisions were straightaway accepted by the taxpayers and FBR.

98.06% of the recommendations of the FTO were up –held in representations. Implementation status has been improved, 87.20% recommendations were implemented during 2020, stuck up refunds of RS. 8242.45 million were facilitated by FTO to taxpayers. Average time taken to dispose of a complaint during 2020 was68.43 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

2020

1

Cases registered and carried forward

1892

2050

2101

2338

3171

3388

2

Cases disposed of

1610

1807

1860

1880

2633

3555

3

Ratio of cases accepted by FBR and complainants

81.86%

85.40%

88.06%

92.71%

93.92%

80.03%

4

Ratio of Recommendations Challenged in Review and Representations

18.13

14.60%

11.94%

7.29%

6.08%

19.97%

5

Ratio of Recommendations Challenged in the  Representations

7.27%

10.46%

9.35%

3.88%

3.60%

17.36%

6

Ratio of rejection of Representations

77%

53.90%

56.40%

62.69%

83.33%

98.06%

7

Ratio of implementation of Recommendations

63.72%

72%

84.60%

89.60%

82.59%

87.20%

8

Amount of Refund facilitated by FTO (Rs. Millions)

734.8

2672.75

3245

6986

5865

8242.45

9

Outreach and awareness sessions

8

8

12

39

87

35

10

Average time for disposal of complaints (Working days)

63

49

47

45

57

68.43

11

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

3

4

10

22

34

49

 

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 planned by the Federal Tax Ombudsman and Advisors all over the country.But despite Covid-19 FTO himself held meetings with important stakeholders and Advisors at various cities. Grievances of taxpayerswere heard and information about taxpayer grievance redressal system of the FTO Office were disseminated.

 (ii)       Media campaign:

1.         SMS service was purchased and integrated with CMIS software to send SMS messages to stakeholders.

2.         FTO's Quarterly Newsletter were 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.

 (iii)       Information Technology:

1.         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. 683 complaints were filed through online system and 18 through mobile application. The mobile application itself had been downloaded 24858 times during 2020 and is expected to be availed more during 2021.

2.         The new version of FTO website has been launched. This results in improving easy and better accessibility of FTO office to complainants and taxpayers.

3.         Development of Urdu version of FTOs website is in final Quality Assurance(QA) stage. It will be active very soon.

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.         Software firewall platform was updated from windows (ISA) to Linux(pfSence) which was more secure and reliable.

6.         Differential backup of data scheme was created to back up the importantdata of official work.

7.         Migration/updation of WIFI network band from 2.4GHz to 5GHz band wasdone to enhance the local area network connectivity.

8.         An internal software audit activity was carried out to improve CMISfunctionality and reporting.