Sales Tax Act 1990: IR officers empowered with free access to enter business premises

KARACHI: Authorized officers of Inland Revenue have access to business premises of sales tax registered taxpayers to inspect record of sales and purchases.

According to Section 38 of updated Sales Tax Act, 1990 issued by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), explained the powers of authorized officers of Inland Revenue to enter business premises for inspecting records.

Section 38: Authorized officers to have access to premises, stocks, accounts and records

Sub-Section (1): Any officer authorized in this behalf by the Board or the Commissioner shall have free access to business or manufacturing premises, registered office or any other place where any stocks, business records or documents required under this Act are kept or maintained belonging to any registered person or a person liable for registration or whose business activities are covered under this Act or who may be required for any inquiry or investigation in any tax fraud committed by him or his agent or any other person; and such officer may, at any time, inspect the goods, stocks, records, data, documents, correspondence, accounts and statements, utility bills, bank statements, information regarding nature and sources of funds or assets with which his business is financed, and any other records or documents, including those which are required under any of the Federal, Provincial or local laws maintained in any form or mode and may take into his custody such records, statements, diskettes, documents or any part thereof, in original or copies thereof in such form as the authorized officer may deem fit against a signed receipt.

Sub-Section (2): The registered person, his agent or any other person specified in sub-section (1) shall be bound to answer any question or furnish such information or explanation as may be asked by the authorized officer.

Sub-Section(3): The department of direct and indirect taxes or any other Government department, local bodies, autonomous bodies, corporations or such other institutions shall supply requisite information and render necessary assistance to the authorized officer in the course of inquiry or investigation under this section.

Section 38A: Power to call for information

The Commissioner may, by notice in writing, require any person, including a banking company, to furnish such information or such statement in connection with any investigation or inquiry in cases of tax fraud, as may be specified in such notice:

Provided that the Commissioner may require any regulatory authority to provide information concerning the licenses and authorizations issued by it.

Section 38B: Obligation to produce documents and provide information

Sub-Section (1): Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law for the time being in force, any person required to maintain the record under the Act, on demand by an officer, not below the rank of an Assistant Commissioner Inland Revenue, by notice in writing, as and when specified in the notice, shall,–

(a) produce for examination, such documents or records which the officer of Inland Revenue considers necessary or relevant to the audit, inquiry or investigation under the Act;

(b) allow the officer of Inland Revenue to take extracts from or copies of such documents or records; and

(c) appear before the officer of Inland Revenue and answer any question put to him concerning the documents and records relating to the audit or inquiry or investigation referred to in clause (a) above.

Sub-Section (2): An officer of Inland Revenue conducting an audit, inquiry or, as the case may be, an investigation under the Act, may require in writing any person, department, company or organization to furnish such information as is held by that person, department, company or organization, which, in the opinion of the officer of Inland Revenue, is relevant to such audit, inquiry or investigation.

Sub-Section (3): The Board may require, in writing, any person, department, company or organization, as the case may be, to provide any information or data held by that person, department, company or organization, which, in the opinion of the Board, is required for purposes of formulation of policy or administering the Customs, Sales Tax, Federal Excise or Income Tax.

Sub-Section (4): Every person, department, company or organization shall furnish the information requisitioned by the Board or the officer of Sales Tax under sub-section (2) or (3), within the time specified in the notice issued by the Board or, as the case may be, the officer of Inland Revenue.

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