ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue has declared that confidentiality of sales tax data of taxpayers is the prime responsibility of FBR and any leakage of the information by Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) officials would be subject to same punishment as prescribed for tax officials.
Sources told Business Recorder here on Friday that the issue of sales tax data leakage by the officials of the Directorate General (DG) of Revenue Receipt Audit (RRA) came to the light in a meeting on the access of soft data to AGP officers by FBR. However, the AGP officials have to ensure confidentiality of sales tax data maintained by the FBR in electronic format.
Any leakage or misuse of sales tax information by AGP officials would result in violation of the relevant provisions of law. These laws would be equally applicable to the public servants of AGP as applicable to the Inland Revenue (IR) officers. In case of leakage of confidential information, the involved official would face disciplinary proceedings under the law.
The issue of access to FBR’s soft data by DG’s RRA, was discussed exhaustively at the Board’s level. FBR Member Legal Aqil Usman pointed out that when FBR’s field offices data was manually dealt, there was no problem regarding production of record to the audit.
Similarly DG’s RRA should have access to the data e-filed by the taxpayers and is available in FBR system. All the officers agreed that RRA officers to have access to electronically filed soft data of taxes maintained by FBR. However, returns etc. filed manually will be audited in manual form.
However, it will be the responsibility of DG, RRA to ensure that confidentiality provisions of Tax Law relating to the security/secrecy of the taxpayers information available in the system are not violated and for any such violation the relevant provisions of Law will be equally applicable to the Public Servants of Audit General as these are applicable to the tax authorities, sources added.