FBR gets irrevocable powers to access or integrate their systems with agencies, utilities and organizations
KARACHI: The Finance Bill 2020 proposes the right of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to access or integrate their systems with certain agencies and organizations, will override any restrictive provisions in the respective laws and regulations of such agencies or organisations. Information received by FBR under this mechanism is proposed to be kept confidential and used only for tax purposes. At present, the information and databases of various agencies and organisations are not accessible to or integrated with Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). For example, the data of industrial electricity consumers held by the utility companies does not commensurate with the registered taxpayers of FBR. In the recent past FBR had been facing challenges, including legislative impediments, to obtain information from different government agencies and utility companies. As per the proposed provisions, following government agencies / corporations and utility sector will be required to grant real time electronic access to information and databases maintained by them to FBR; (i) NADRA (ii) FIA and Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment (iii) Islamabad Capital Territory and provincial and local land record and development authorities (iv) Islamabad Capital Territory and provincial Excise and Taxation Departments (v) All electricity suppliers and gas transmission and distribution companies; and (vi) any other agency, authority, institution or organization notified by FBR. It is proposed that above agencies / entities shall provide required information and data to FBR on periodic basis (frequency and form to be prescribed by FBR) until FBR makes arrangement for laying down infrastructure for the access and its alignment with its own database. Specifically, for electricity supplier and gas transmission and distribution companies, it is proposed to allow time until January 2021 to consumers to update the ratio of sharing of a connection or the particulars of users. These amendments are proposed notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in the NADRA Ordinance, 2000 or Emigration Ordinance, 1979.