Sales Tax Act 1990: FBR may appoint special panels for audit

KARACHI: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been empowered under sales tax law to appoint special audit panels for conducting audit of any registered person.

The updated Sales Tax Act, 1990 issued by the FBR, the Section 32A explains the powers of the revenue body for appointment of special audit panels.

Section 32A: Audit by Special Audit Panels

Sub-Section (1): The Board may appoint as many special audit panels as may be necessary, comprising two or more members from the following, –

(a) an officer or officers of Inland Revenue;

(b) a firm of chartered accountants as defined under the Chartered Accountants Ordinance, 1961 (X of 1961);

(b) a firm of cost and management accountants as defined under the Cost and Management Accountants Act, 1966 (XIV of 1966); or

(d) any other person as directed by the Board,

to conduct audit of a registered person or persons, including audit of refund claims and forensic audit and the scope of such audit shall be determined by the Board or the Commissioner Inland Revenue on a case-to-case basis. In addition, the Board may, where it considers appropriate, also get such audit conducted jointly with similar audits being conducted by provincial administrations of sales tax on services.

Sub-Section (2): Notwithstanding that records of a registered person have been audited by an officer appointed under section 30, the Board or a Commissioner may direct special audit panel appointed under sub-section (1) to audit the records of any registered person.

Sub-Section (3): Every member of special audit panel appointed under sub-section (1), shall have the powers of an officer of Inland Revenue under sections 25, 37 and 38.

Sub-Section (4): Each special audit panel shall be headed by a chairman who shall be an officer of Inland Revenue.

Sub-Section (5): If any one member of the special audit panel, other than the chairman, is absent from conducting an audit, the proceedings of the audit may continue and the audit conducted by the special audit panel shall not be invalid or be called in question merely on the ground of such absence.

Sub-Section (6): The Board may prescribe rules in respect of constitution, procedure and working of special audit panel.

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