ISLAMABAD: The officers of Inland Revenue (FBR) have been authorized to access bank accounts of taxpayers for recovery of outstanding duty and taxes.
In an official memo issued on Monday, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has restored the powers of Commissioners IR to exercise their powers under Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 and Sales Tax Act, 1990 regarding recovery of tax dues through attachment of bank accounts.
A non-bureaucrat FBR chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi on May 10, 2019 through an official notice barred the tax authorities for attachment of bank accounts prior information to taxpayers.
“No bank accounts attachment unless the taxpayer’s CEO/Principal Officer / owner is informed at least 24 hours prior to attachment and the Chairman FBR’s approval is obtained.”
However, the latest official note stated that in order to implement the law in its true spirit and to re-vest the power vested in the institution of the Commissioners viz-a-viz action under Section 140 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, the instruction referred supra (the previous one) are hereby withdrawn ab-initio.
Syed Shabbar Zaidi headed the organization from May 10, 2019 to January 06, 2020. Zaidi lamented the decision through his tweet.
“I am personally sorry to hear the withdrawal of the first instruction issued when I joined as Chairman FBR. No freezing of bank account without intimation & approval from Chairman FBR. Due to this there was a major relief to taxpayers. I urge Prime Minister, Finance Minister & Chairman FBR to reinstate.”
When I was working in an organization where 99.99 per cent staff is interested in power then one man can only be effective when stakeholders support. It was not so, he added.