KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will hire foreign experts to conduct tax auditing and eliminate evasion and avoidance, officials said on Tuesday.
The officials said the Commissioner of Inland Revenue was authorised to call for record and conduct audit of taxpayers. The commissioner is also empowered to set up a panel of auditors for conducting specialised audit, including forensic audit. “The commissioner is empowered to appoint foreign expert to such a panel,” an official at Regional Tax Office, Karachi said.
The official said the government added the provisions into the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 through Finance Act 2018. Under the new amendment into the ordinance, a tax audit expert of an international tax organisation or a tax authority outside Pakistan can be deployed under an audit assistance program. The individual will only be included as a member in the special audit panel if an agreement of confidentiality has been entered between the board and individual, international tax organisation or a tax authority, according to the amendment. A tax official said the amendment was made in the wake of exchange of information under the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and rising complexity of audit in various sectors, including telecom and banking. On September 14, 2016, Pakistan became the 104th economy to join the most powerful multilateral instrument against offshore tax evasion and avoidance. OECD member countries are bound to exchange financial data of non-residents to curb tax evasion.
The FBR is already taking services of local chartered accountants and cost and management accountants for auditing of the tax cases.
“The FBR can appoint a firm of chartered accountants or a firm of cost and management accountants to conduct an audit of the income tax of any individual or classes of persons,” the official added.