FBR’s powers to enter taxpayers’ premises for search

FBR’s powers to enter taxpayers’ premises for search

Section 175 of Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 authorized officials of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to enter any premises of taxpayers for search and take possession of records.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) issued the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 updated up to June 30, 2021. The Ordinance incorporated amendments brought through Finance Act, 2021.

Following is the text of Section 175 of Income Tax Ordinance, 2001:

175. Power to enter and search premises.— (1) In order to enforce any provision of this Ordinance (including for the purpose of making an audit of a taxpayer or a survey of persons liable to tax), the Commissioner or any officer authorised in writing by the Commissioner for the purposes of this section –

(a) shall, at all times and without prior notice, have full and free access including real-time electronic access to any premises, place, accounts, documents or computer;

(b) may stamp, or make an extract or copy of any accounts, documents or computer-stored information to which access is obtained under clause (a);

(c) may impound any accounts or documents and retain them for so long as may be necessary for examination or for the purposes of prosecution;

(d) may, where a hard copy or computer disk of information stored on a computer is not made available, impound and retain the computer for as long as is necessary to copy the information required; and

(e) may make an inventory of any articles found in any premises or place to which access is obtained under clause (a).

(2) The Commissioner may authorize any valuer or expert to enter any premises and perform any task assigned to him by the Commissioner.

(3) The occupier of any premises or place to which access is sought under sub-section (1) shall provide all reasonable facilities and assistance for the effective exercise of the right of access.

(4) Any accounts, documents or computer impounded and retained under sub-section (1) shall be signed for by the Commissioner or an authorised officer.

(5) A person whose accounts, documents or computer have been impounded and retained under sub-section (1) may examine them and make extracts or copies from them during regular office hours under such supervision as the Commissioner may determine.

(6) Where any accounts, documents or computer impounded and retained under sub-section (1) are lost or destroyed while in the possession of the Commissioner, the Commissioner shall make reasonable compensation to the owner of the accounts, documents or computer for the loss or destruction.

(7) This section shall have effect notwithstanding any rule of law relating to privilege or the public interest in relation to access to premises or places, or the production of accounts, documents or computer-stored information.

(8) In this section, “occupier” in relation to any premises or place, means the owner, manager or any other responsible person on the premises or place.

(9) For the purpose of clause (a) of sub-section (1), the Board may make rules relating to electronic real-time assess for audit or a survey of persons liable to tax.

175A. Real-time access to information and databases.- (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, including but not limited to the National Database and Registration Authority Ordinance, 2000 (Ordinance VIII of 2000), and the Emigration Ordinance, 1979(Ordinance XVIII of 1979), arrangements shall be made to provide real-time access of information and database to the Board in the prescribed form and manner by-

(a) the National Database and Registration Authority with respect to information pertaining to National Identity Card, Pakistan Origin Card, Overseas Identity Card, Alien Registration Card, and other particulars contained in the Citizen Database.

(b) the Federal Investigation Agency and the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment with respect to details of international travel;

(c) the Federal Investigation Agency and the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment with respect to details of international entry and exit of all persons and information pertaining to work permits, employment visas and immigration visas;

(d) the Islamabad Capital Territory and provincial and local land record and development authorities with respect to record-of-rights including digitized edition of record-of-rights, periodic record, record of mutations and report of acquisition of right;

(e) the Islamabad Capital Territory and provincial Excise and Taxation Departments with respect to information regarding registration of vehicles, transfer of ownership and other associated record;

(f) All electricity suppliers and gas transmission and distribution companies with respect to particulars of a consumer, the units consumed and the amount of bill charged or paid:

Provided that where the connection is shared or is used by a person other than the owner, the name and CNIC of the owner and the user shall also be furnished:

Provided further that all electricity suppliers and gas transmission and distribution companies shall make arrangements by the 1st day of January, 2021 for allowing consumers to update the ratio of sharing of a connection or the particulars of users, as the case may be; and

(g) any other agency, authority, institution or organization notified by the Board.

(2) The Board shall make arrangements for laying the infrastructure for real-time access to information and database under sub-section (1) and aligning it with its own database in the manner as may be prescribed.

(3) Until real-time access to information and database is made available under sub-section (1), such information and data shall be provided periodically in such form and manner as may be prescribed.

(4) Subject to section 216, all information received under this section shall be used only for tax purposes and kept confidential.

(Disclaimer: The text of the above section is only for information. Team PkRevenue.com makes all efforts to provide the correct version of the text. However, the team PkRevenue.com is not responsible for any error or omission.)

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