Karachi, December 2, 2023 – The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has taken a significant leap into the digital age as it gains real-time access to information and databases under the recently updated Sales Tax Act, 1990 for the tax year 2024.
The amendments, outlined in Section 56AB, empower the FBR to access crucial information from various government agencies and organizations, streamlining its tax enforcement capabilities.
Under Section 56AB of the Sales Tax Act, 1990, the FBR has been granted the authority to obtain real-time information in a prescribed form and manner from several key entities. These include the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) for information related to National Identity Cards (NIC), Pakistan Origin Cards, Overseas Identity Cards, Alien Registration Cards, and other particulars within the Citizen Database.
Additionally, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment are required to provide details of international travel, enhancing the FBR’s ability to track financial activities linked to cross-border movements.
The Islamabad Capital Territory, as well as Provincial and local land record and development authorities, are mandated to share records related to rights, including digitized editions, periodic records, mutations, and reports of acquisition of rights. This move aims to provide the FBR with access to crucial land-related information for taxation purposes.
Furthermore, the Islamabad Capital Territory and Provincial Excise and Taxation Departments are obligated to furnish information regarding vehicle registration, transfer of ownership, and other associated records. The inclusion of details from electricity suppliers and gas transmission and distribution companies, covering consumer particulars, units consumed, and billed amounts, will further aid the FBR in monitoring financial transactions.
The legislation also includes provisions for shared connections, ensuring that in cases where a connection is used by someone other than the owner, the relevant information is provided. Electricity suppliers and gas companies are mandated to allow consumers to update sharing ratios or user particulars by January 1, 2021.
The scope of information collection is broadened with the provision that allows the FBR to notify any other agency, authority, institution, or organization to provide necessary data.
The FBR is tasked with creating the necessary infrastructure to facilitate real-time access to information and databases. Until this infrastructure is in place, these agencies must provide information periodically in a prescribed manner.
It is crucial to note that all information received under these provisions is strictly intended for tax purposes, and the FBR is bound to maintain confidentiality, as outlined in Section 56AB(4) and subject to Section 56B.
This monumental shift towards real-time access to information is expected to enhance the FBR’s efficiency in tax enforcement, reduce tax evasion, and contribute to a more transparent and accountable taxation system in Pakistan.