PTI government plans transformation of FBR into Pakistan Revenue Authority

KARACHI: The PTI government is considering transformation of Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) into a single revenue collection body across country to be named Pakistan Revenue Authority (PRA), which would also be responsible to collect sales tax on services, sources said.

The proposal was discussed at a recent meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad.

The meeting observed that the current structure of FBR is archaic and highly bureaucratic, which does not commensurate with technology driven tax administration in vogue around the world.

Sources claimed the proposal has already been circulated among concerned ministries and departments for vetting, while the Prime Minister Imran Khan has advised concerned authorities to complete the process by June 2020.

The meeting noted that there is a need to establish legislatively empowered, tailored to task (lean organization) and technology driven Pakistan Revenue Authority.

It was known the Revenue Division has formulated comprehensive proposal for establishment of Pakistan Revenue Authority (PRA) and centralised collection of GST (Goods & Services) by PRA under the ambit of World Bank’s’ Pakistan Raises Revenue Project.

The meeting observed that in the interim period, FBR Headquarters needs to be reorganized/rearticulated on functional lines segregating Inland Revenue and Customs Operations into North and South Zones.

Two BS-21 Deputy Chairmen of FBR are proposed to be appointed to effectively coordinate and supervise segregated functions of Inland Revenue and Customs.

Major administrative and functional restructuring of existing Regional Tax Offices (RTOs), Large Taxpayer Units (LTUs) and District Tax Facilitation Centres is also proposed to be undertaken.

Sources said PRA will be a constitutionally empowered and autonomous authority with “lean organization”, structured along functional lines.

It was also proposed the disparate provincial revenue authorities be consolidated into a single authority for each province under the overall coordination, facilitation, guidance and oversight by PRA.

The meeting proposed to address collection, jurisdiction and double taxation issues, GST including on Services) be adopted as PRA’s responsibility.  A formula would be devised to transfer the same to provinces.

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