FBR is not organized revenue authority

ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), unlike most revenue authorities in the world, is not organized along functional lines, nor does it have a clear hierarchical structure.

This was stated by the World Bank in its report on Pakistan taxation.

It said: The FBR is a large organization with a nationwide presence and more than 21,000 staff, of whom about two thirds work for Inland Revenue Service (IRS) and one third for Pakistan Customs.

It further said despite a government target for women to reach 10 percent of public employees, the FBR has only 962 women staff (4.6 percent).

However, women are better represented among professional-grade staff (grades 17+), accounting for 17.6 percent of total staff in grades 17-22.

The two services have separate career structures and human resource practices with limited shared services (e.g. accounting).

Their audit functions, ICT systems, and territorial formations (Regional Tax Offices/Large Taxpayer Units for the IRS, Customs stations and control points) are also separate.

The IRS is organized along tax instruments, territorial jurisdictions, and taxpayer segments (e.g. Large Taxpayer Units) rather than functions (e.g. taxpayer registration, assessment, tax audit).

“A mixed function-based and segment-based structure is considered more efficient, as it enables technical specialization of staff, automation of business processes by function, fewer offices, and complete taxpayer profiles – rather than separate records for each tax instrument as is the case in the FBR,” the World Bank said.

In terms of management structure, the FBR Act assigns the decision-making functions to the Board with limited powers for the Chairman.

In turn, Board Members are responsible for different functions but do not oversee FBR territorial formations, where most FBR staff are deployed.

Moreover, IRS Directors-General report directly to the FBR Chairman rather than Board Members.

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