KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is going to take help from anti-corruption agencies to strengthen its internal controls for combating corruption.
FBR sources said that the FBR had devised a plan for integrity management and performance appraisal and for the purpose the revenue department would establish Integrity Management Unit.
The unit will provide input on integrity-related matters, process corruption-related complaints, prepare profiles of officers, and coordinate with other anti-corruption agencies.
In this connection the FBR has already initiated the scrutiny of assets possessed by the officials of Customs and Inland Revenue. “Most of the work has been done to identify officers who are living beyond means,” officer of FBR said.
Recently, the FBR directed the non-compliant officers to submit their mandatory asset declaration, which is mandatory under services rules. Besides, the officials have also been asked to file their income tax returns alongwith details of wealth.
It is astonishing that many officers of Pakistan Customs and Inland Revenue Services had not filed their mandatory assets declaration for the past many years. It is further surprising that about 1200 FBR officers out of total 1743 had not filed their income tax returns.
Though the FBR has announced the last date, June 16 for filing the income tax returns along with penalty with warning that those officials failed to comply the directives would be deprived from performance allowance not less than three months.
FBR sources said that the asset details would provide reasons to apprehend those officials involved in corruption.
The sources said that FBR had prepared the strategy aiming to increase the tax collection from 9.7 percent to 14 percent of GDP by fiscal year 2016/2017. The strategy also included to eliminate corruption and facilitate the taxpayers.
The FBR sources said that eliminating the corruption with the system was necessary in taking further measures to bridge the gap.
The initiatives besides eliminating the corruption would include sector studies to estimate the tax potential of each sector, facilitating access to information on bank accounts of potential tax evaders and tax avoiders; enhancing FBR capacity for undertaking and expanding the coverage of tax audits; and institutionalizing a risk-based system of sales tax registration, which would not only expand the tax base but also be capable of detecting and forestalling the abuse of the tax refund process.
“These measures will be supplemented by a computerized risk-based evaluation of sales tax returns and an automated system of sales tax refunds; establishing an electronic monitoring system to assess accurate volumes of industrial production; and developing an anti-smuggling strategy,” according to report released by World Bank.