FBR Updates SOP for Processing FTO Cases

FBR Updates SOP for Processing FTO Cases

Karachi, September 25, 2023 – The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has introduced updates to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) governing the processing of cases involving the Tax Ombudsman.

This move is aimed at streamlining and enhancing the efficiency of handling cases within the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) system.

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The FBR initially issued SOPs on June 15, 2023, to guide the processing of cases within the FTO framework. In the latest development, the FBR has informed key stakeholders, including chief commissioners from the Inland Revenue (IR) of Large Taxpayers Office (LTO), Medium Taxpayer Office (MTO), Corporate Tax Office (CTO), and Regional Taxpayers Office (RTO). Additionally, all director generals and commissioners Inland Revenue of Appeals have been notified of these updates.

The FBR’s decision to revise the SOPs stems from observations made during the processing of review petitions and representations. It was noted that the legal wing often faced challenges in adhering to the prescribed timelines for submitting proposals to the board for filing review petitions or representations against FTO findings and recommendations. In many cases, these submissions from field formations were received on the last day or just a day before the deadline, leaving the legal wing insufficient time to thoroughly analyze the case’s grounds and facts.

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Furthermore, some field formations failed to include the date of receiving FTO findings and recommendations when sending their representations or reviews to the board. The FBR highlighted that, as per instructions issued by the FTO, physical documents and orders have been replaced with online orders and documents. Consequently, representations or reviews against FTO orders should be filed from the date of posting the order online on the FTO portal or from the date of receipt via email by the FTO representative of the relevant formation.

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In light of these circumstances, the FBR has issued clear directives for the future handling of cases. If the recommendations of the FTO are deemed unacceptable, the review petition or representation should reach the FBR at least 10 days before the expiration of the stipulated time limit. All supporting documents mentioned in the review or representation must be included with proper indexing. Additionally, the cover letter should explicitly state the date of receiving the FTO recommendations.

These updated SOPs are expected to enhance transparency, efficiency, and adherence to timelines in the processing of cases involving the Tax Ombudsman, ensuring a more effective resolution of tax-related disputes and issues.

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