Government prepares draft of Federal Revenue Authority Act, 2020

KARACHI: Pakistan government has prepared the draft of Federal Revenue Authority (FRA) Act, 2020, which provides for the establishment of an authority to be called Federal Revenue Authority consisting of a Chairman and three Deputy Chairman (in BS-22 or a professional).

The Federal government may also establish a Revenue Advisory Council to provide guidance. The Act would be implemented by the end of December this year. Inland Revenue and Pakistan Customs are advised to furnish their reservations and recommendations by November 27.

The Federal Revenue Authority shall exercise powers and perform all such functions to implement the tax administration reforms; to promote voluntary tax compliance and to make the Authority a service oriented organization; and to implement comprehensive policies and programs for the education and facilitation of taxpayers, stakeholders and employees, etc., in order to develop the Authority into a modern efficient organization.

The Authority will adopt modern effective tax administration methods, information technology systems and polices in order to consolidate assessments; improve processes, organic registration of tax payers, widen the tax base, and make departmental remedies more efficient including enforcement of, or reduction or remission in, duty, penalty or tax in accordance with the relevant law for the time being in force.

The Authority will make regulations, policies, programs, strategies and engage any person or entity on contract basis to carry out assignments or for the consultancy.

The authority is authorized to regulate and enter into any agreement, contract understanding, with any international organization or institution or donor agency or counterpart entity; create field formations of Authority for greater efficiency in implementation of fiscal laws; set up mechanism and processes that facilitate removal of grievances and complaints of the tax payers.

It would also enable electronic communication in respect of all taxation matters such as e-filing, e-payments, e-notice, e-notification, digital imaging, protocols or agreements, and perform any other functions entrusted from time to time by the Federal Government.

The Authority may, where appropriate, issue statutory rules and orders (SROs), orders, circulars and instructions for the enforcement of any of the provisions of fiscal law and the provision of this Act.

Federal government may appoint the Chairman, if appointed from the private sector, the nominee for Chairman, shall resign from any company, corporate body etc. with the view to avoid conflict of interest.

Federal Government shall also appoint one Deputy Chairman (in BS-22) each, from within the eligible officers of the Pakistan Customs Service and the Inland Revenue Service respectively, and one Deputy Chairman either from officers of IRS or PCS or a professional.

In case a Deputy Chairman is appointed from a private sector for support functions, the nominee shall be an imminent professional of known integrity and competence with a minimum of twenty-five years related experience in project management, finance, accounting and economics.

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