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ISLAMABAD: In order to streamline the payment of refund claims and to initiate enforcement measures to minimise the risk of inadmissible refund claims, a system-based Post Refund Analysis Cell (PRAC) has been established at the FBR to ensure validity of refunds issued through "FASTER" and the "ERS" systems.

According to the order issued by the FBR here on Thursday, the PRAC will work under Chief (Analysis) IR Wing, FBR.

Since refund processing system has been programmed in auto-mode without human involvement, the PRAC is aimed at bringing transparency and further clarity in automated refund system by restricting the inadmissible claims centrally at the national level.

The PRAC will work as per set SOPs/mandate to thoroughly scrutinise issues pertaining to inadmissible/excess/not warranted refunds.

The functions of the PRAC shall include to identify the cases of inadmissible refunds and to analyse the cases of inadmissible/excess refund claims and in particular, cases where there are suspicions of (a) refund claimed on the strength of fake/flying invoices; (b) refund claimed on inadmissible inputs including building materials, paints, wires and cables, vehicles and other such items which are restricted under the provisions of Section 8 of the Sales Tax Act, 1990; (c) falsification of documents with the intent to deliberately disguise the nature of transaction; (d) collusion amongst taxpayers to avail the bogus refunds.

Where a fiscal investigation is required, the matter will be referred to the concerned LTO/CTO/MTO/RTO as the case may be with a report from the PRAC.

The concerned field officers will be responsible to thoroughly scrutinise the observations including any other observation, which in the opinion of the concerned officers is deemed necessary to ascertain the genuineness of the claim.

However, the officer posted in the cell will arrange and elaborate the facts indicating the commission of offense/crime; chronology of events, primary and secondary evidences to establish the offense; list of documentary evidences including the positions, submissions to prove the offence, and any other facts or evidence to establish the offense.

The officers posted in the PRAC after completion of the analysis would submit the report regarding the assigned matters to Chief (IR-Analysis) at the earliest or within the time stipulated (if any), who will forward the said report to concerned field offices after the approval of Member-IR (Ops). The PRAC would accordingly coordinate and provide active cooperation to the field offices in discharge of their legal duties, the FBR added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020