FBR applies digital payment amid cyber security incident

FBR applies digital payment amid cyber security incident

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is all set to apply a digital mode of payment from November 01, 2021, for corporate entities as one of the largest banks in the country reported a cyber security incident.

The digital mode of payment has been made mandatory from November 01, 2021. The FBR has already made necessary amendments to relevant tax laws to implement the digital payment system.

The new provision of law was promulgated through Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, where a new sub-section (la) was inserted in Section 21 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Saturday stated that the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) had reported a cyber security related incident which is being investigated.

“The bank has not observed any data breach or financial loss. No other bank has reported any such incidence,” the central bank said. The SBP added that it was monitoring the situation closely to ensure safety and soundness of banking system.

Interestingly, a day earlier, the apex tax bar of the country Pakistan Tax Bar Association (PTBA) in a letter to FBR chairman mentioned about the cyber security issues while implementing the mandatory digital mode of payment.

“It will not be out of place to mention that online transactions are still considered as unsecured mode, due to various type online frauds and hacking of software,” according to the PTBA’s letter.

The apex tax bar urged the tax authorities to defer the condition as the implementation was not practical at present.

“The condition for allowable expenditure through digital mean is a contradiction with the other modes of payment through banking channels, which is historically remained in practice and accepted under the provisions of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 and this provision of law is incorporated without taking the stakeholders into confidence and it is not practically possible for many business houses,” the PTBA said.