Karachi, December 4, 2023 – The Pakistan Tax Bar Association (PTBA) has called on the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to take decisive action against non-filer officials, emphasizing the need for accountability and transparency within the tax administration.
In a letter addressed to FBR Chairman Amjad Zubair Tiwana, PTBA President Anwar Kashif Mumtaz commended FBR’s recent efforts to promote trust and transparency within the organization. The FBR had taken the unique step of directing its staff to file tax declarations within the specified deadline, and notably, it published a name-wise list of officials who failed to meet this obligation. However, the FBR allowed its staff an extended deadline until December 31, 2023, to submit their tax returns, in contrast to the November 30, 2023 deadline for the general taxpayers.
Expressing concern over this dual standard, PTBA argued that such a practice not only contradicts FBR’s transparency and trust-building objectives but also hinders efforts to broaden the tax base. In response, PTBA proposed specific measures to restore confidence among taxpayers and hold tax officials accountable.
The association recommended that the FBR should block the folders of non-filer officials until their status appears on the Active Taxpayers List (ATL). During this period, these officials should be barred from passing assessments or any other orders. PTBA also urged the FBR to grant a similar extension until December 31, 2023, to common taxpayers, aligning with the extended deadline for tax officials.
In addition to addressing the non-compliance issue, PTBA highlighted several other concerns related to the current working structure of the FBR:
Presence of Retired Officials: Some retired FBR officials reportedly continue to work in FBR offices, assisting their on-duty colleagues in violation of FBR Service Rules.
Engagement of Private Human Resources: FBR officials allegedly hire private human resources to delegate duties and assignments, a practice not permitted under FBR Service Rules.
Improper Conduct of Hearings: Hearings related to matters under the Sales Tax Act, 1990, are allegedly conducted by sales tax auditors/senior auditors instead of authorized IROs, Assistant/Deputy Commissioners, contrary to the law.
Lack of Online Accessibility: Sales tax proceedings, including notices, compliances, and orders, are not available or accessible online on the IRIS portal for taxpayers.
PTBA urged the FBR Chairman to promptly address these issues, emphasizing the importance of bringing the FBR’s house in order to facilitate tax filers and take appropriate actions against non-filers. The association expressed a willingness to discuss these matters further in person with Chairman Amjad Zubair Tiwana to ensure the concerns of genuine taxpayers are adequately addressed.