FBR restructuring proposed to make autonomous body

KARACHI: The government has been proposed to make Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) as an autonomous body on similar line as State Bank of Pakistan.

The Overseas Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) in its budget proposals for 2019/2020 suggested restructuring of FBR as an independent governing body.

It suggested that FBR should be made an autonomous body on similar lines as State Bank of Pakistan, SECP, and Internal Revenue Services (IRS) of United States.

FBR should operate and work in a corporate governance structure with a Board of Directors, vested with powers like that of the Boards of Public listed companies.

The Chairman of FBR and fifty percent of the Board members may be nominated by the government (Ministries of Finance, Law, and Commerce) and, the remaining fifty percent Board members should be nominated by bodies like OICCI, PBC and ICAP.

A transparent accountability system in tax administration should be introduced, and reasonable independence and empowerment given to various operational positions.

The external audit of FBR should be done annually, by an independent international audit firm whose report should be presented and fully discussed in the Tax Policy Board meeting.

There should also an Internal Audit function within the FBR for an effective ongoing internal audit reporting directly to the independent members of the Board nominated by the Trade bodies.

Apart from revenue collection a key function of the FBR should be to address coordination issues between federal and provincial revenue authorities, with monthly meetings to ensure ease of doing business for taxpayers.

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