KARACHI: The sales tax law has authorized tax officials to access record maintain by registered persons for the purpose of investigation and audit.
According to updated Sales Tax Act, 1990 issued by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the Section 25 explained maintenance of record by taxpayer and authority of tax department to access the record and conduct audit.
Section 25: Access to record, documents, etc.
Sub-Section (1): A person who is required to maintain any record or documents under this Act or any other law shall, as and when required by Commissioner, produce record or documents which are in his possession or control or in the possession or control of his agent; and where such record or documents have been kept on electronic data, he shall allow access to the officer of Inland Revenue authorized by the Commissioner and use of any machine on which such data is kept.
Sub-Section (2): The officer of Inland Revenue authorized by the Commissioner, on the basis of the record, obtained under sub-section (1), may, once in a year, conduct audit:
Provided that in case the Commissioner has information or sufficient evidence showing that such registered person is involved in tax fraud or evasion of tax, he may authorize an officer of Inland Revenue, not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner, to conduct an inquiry or investigation under section 38:
Provided further that nothing in this sub-section, shall bar the officer of Inland Revenue from conducting audit of the records of the registered person if the same were earlier audited by the office of the Auditor-General of Pakistan:
Provided also that audit under this section shall be conducted only once in every three years.
Sub-Section (3): After completion of Audit under this section or any other provision of this Act, the officer of Inland Revenue may, after obtaining the registered person’s explanation on all the issues raised in the audit shall pass an order under section (11).
Sub-Section (4): Omitted
Sub-Section (5): Notwithstanding the penalties prescribed in section 33, if a registered person wishes to deposit the amount of tax short paid or amount of tax evaded along with default surcharge voluntarily, whenever it comes to his notice, before receipt of notice of audit, no penalty shall be recovered from him:
Provided if a registered person wishes to deposit the amount of tax short paid or amount of tax evaded along with default surcharge during the audit, or at any time before issuance of show cause notice he may deposit the evaded amount of tax, default surcharge under section 34, and twenty five per cent of the penalty payable under section 33:
Provided further that if a registered person wishes to deposit the amount of tax short paid or amount of tax evaded along with default surcharge after issuance of show cause notice, he shall deposit the evaded amount of tax, default surcharge under section 34, and full amount of the penalty payable under section 33 and thereafter, the show cause notice, shall stand abated.
Explanation.– For the purpose of sections 25, 38, 38A, 38B and 45A and for removal of doubt, it is declared that the powers of the Board, Commissioner or officer of Inland Revenue under these sections are independent of the powers of the Board under section 72B and nothing contained in section 72B restricts the powers of the Board, Commissioner or Officer of Inland revenue to have access to premises, stocks, accounts, records, etc. under these sections or to conduct audit under these sections.