IMF criteria for quality service to taxpayers

ISLAMABAD (April 05 2003) : Proposing quality service for at least 50,000 taxpayers in each Medium Taxpayer Unit (MTU), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has laid down strict performance criteria for the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) to facilitate the business community operating under MTU.

Under the business-friendly mechanism, the Fund has asked the CBR to process new registration and de-registration cases in 14 days at the MTUs.

The sales tax refund should be sanctioned to the applicants within one month, and computerised processing of returns must not exceed four weeks.

IMF has also directed the tax managers to dispose of the complaints within 28 days and forward findings of the audit to the taxpayers within seven days after completion of audit.

Furthermore, the medium taxpayer units should have the prerequisites to resolve legal disputes in six weeks and taxpayers' accounts be updated within 48 hours.

All necessary information pertaining to MTUs should be made available promptly within 10 minutes on taxpayer's demand.

Moreover, written inquiries should be answered within 28 days.

If CBR achieves success in implementation of MTU project, the tax authorities would extend MTUs to 4-6 other cities and open around 60 smaller offices at remote sites.

Contrary to the above-mentioned time frame, the CBR is facing serious problems in disposing of pending registration and de-registration applications at the collectorates where it takes months to process the applications.

According to tax experts, de-registration process takes over six months and refunds are withheld by the regional authorities.

Similarly, auditors take months and findings are not timely communicated to the taxpayers.

The resolution of legal disputes also takes months which needs immediate attention of the tax managers, tax consultants added.

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