Staff shortage hampering tax recovery, FBR tells PAC

Published September 4, 2021
The Federal Board of Revenue has informed the Public Accounts Committee that shortage of staff was hampering the recoveries of about Rs1.8 trillion. — APP/File
The Federal Board of Revenue has informed the Public Accounts Committee that shortage of staff was hampering the recoveries of about Rs1.8 trillion. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Friday that shortage of staff was hampering the recoveries of about Rs1.8 trillion.

A meeting of the PAC, chaired by its chairman Rana Tanveer Hussain, was examining the FBR’s audit report for the year 2019-20.

A member of the PAC, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, pointed out that total amount involved in different cases of the FBR of 2019-20 stood at Rs1.8tr.

FBR Chairman Dr Mohammad Ashfaq Ahmad said that the board required as many as 130 commissioners inland revenue against existing 30 commissioners to timely decide all cases pending at the first level of appeal i.e. commissioner appeal.

Amount stuck in cases of 2019-20 stands at Rs1.8tr, panel member points out

Dr Ahmed said that tax administration for disposal of cases in courts was a complicated issue. The commissioner appeal had to decide a case within 60 days and, therefore, the existing strength of the commissioner was insufficient to dispose of the pending appeals in a timely manner, he added.

The audit report pointed out that due to short levy of super tax the public exchequer had suffered Rs16 billion losses.

According to the provision of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001, super tax is imposed for rehabilitation of temporarily displaced persons on the income of every taxpayer.

The audit report highlighted that super tax of Rs16bn was due on 123 banks and companies. The FBR had not initiated any legal proceedings to receive super tax due to weak monitoring of the collection of super tax.

On the request of its chairman, the PAC gave two months’ time to the FBR to speed up the recovery process.

Officials of the Auditor General informed the PAC that recovery of Rs11bn was pending from ghee and cooking oil manufactures who had made supplies to unregistered wholesalers and dealers. The FBR is required to obtain details/names of the unregistered buyers from the ghee manufactures for recovery proceedings.

The FBR chairman said that they would approach all ghee and cooking oil manufacturers to obtain information about the unregistered distributors and wholesalers and inform the PAC accordingly.

The manufacturers had paid their due tax liability, but the issue was related to the collection of sales tax from unregistered distributors and wholesalers, he said. The estimated tax demand of Rs11 billion would be reduced to around Rs100 million, he said.

The FBR chairman assured the PAC that the matter would be resolved in two months.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2021

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