ISLAMABAD: Federal Tax Ombudsman Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to initiate and finalise proceedings against non-compliant withholding agents under the Income Tax Ordinance.
He also asked the FBR to register all non-compliant withholding agents on the tax roll and ensure submission of withholding statements in terms of Section 165 of the Income Tax Ordinance. The FBR was directed to take action and submit compliance report to the ombudsman within 60 days.
The total number of withholding agents is 11,723 and 6,406 of them are not on the tax roll as reflected by the data provided by the FBR, according to a statement issued by the ombudsman’s office on Sunday.
An investigation was initiated into the failure of the FBR to monitor advance tax to be collected at the time of sale, purchase and transfer/registration of immovable properties in terms of Sections 236C and 236K of the Income Tax Ordinance.
During the investigation, it was found that most of the withholding agents, who are on NTN, were non-filers of withholding tax statements that they are required to submit under Section 165 of the Ordinance. The public exchequer has thus been losing a huge legitimate tax, which the FBR ought to have collected, wherever applicable.
Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2021