ISLAMABAD: In line with the directives of the Lahore High Court (LHC), the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Tuesday revised the functions, jurisdiction and powers of the Directorate General Intelligence and Investigation - Inland Revenue and its officers across Pakistan.
The FBR has issued an SRO 272(I)/2021, here on Tuesday to supersede the SRO 115(1)/2015, dated the 9th February, 2015. Officials said that the LHC had directed the FBR to initiate the process of specifying the functions and jurisdictions of the officers of the Directorate General (Intelligence and Investigation Inland Revenue).
According to the judgment of the LHC in the WP No 4361 of 2017, the SRO 115 of the FBR, and the impugned notices were set aside being without lawful authority and of no legal effect.
Thereafter, the FBR may confer powers on officers of the DG (I&I) compatible with their functions, the official added. Through an SRO 272(I)/2021 issued by the FBR here on Tuesday, the functions of the Directorate-General of Intelligence and Investigation, Inland Revenue shall be to carry out intelligence activities, access and verification of business premises, access to record/documents or system maintained therein, intelligence gathering on all tax-related issues including under-reporting, tax evasion, and revenue leakages.
The agency would be empowered to collect information/record/documents from any person including taxpayer and third party relating to financial transactions such as investment and expenses etc, and details of persons who are involved in such activities.
The officials of the directorate would be empowered to process information and take necessary action on the basis of information provided by any other organisation, agency or department under the relevant provisions of Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, and utilise the information obtained through establishment of linkages by the FBR with all major national, provincial other data bases to collect relevant information.
The agency’s officials would be empowered to identify cases of income tax evasion and carry out inquiry, investigation, whichever is deemed fit, to retrieve the loss of revenue; to identify, investigate and prosecute cases of tax evasion and/or offences punishable under the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 and the rules made thereunder and share and disseminate actionable information and corroborating evidence, where required, through written reports or information reports or otherwise to authorities or officers in the headquarters and field formations of the FBR for further proceedings.
The agency would be empowered to process, investigate and prosecute complaints of tax evasion; to process, investigate and prosecute information shared by other agencies and to carry out any other work or function that may be assigned to it by the FBR, the notification added.
The assignment, authorisation and exercise of the powers and functions specified shall be subject to such limitations and restrictions as are imposed under the provisions of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 and the rules made thereunder, the FBR added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021