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LAHORE: The Pakistan Tax Bar Association (PTBA) has expressed grave concerns over the decision taken by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) regarding the assignment of cases of Income Tax, Sales Tax and Federal Excise Duty to the third-party auditors for conducting audit of the taxpayer’s affairs (Companies, AOPs & Individual).

It is imperative to note that the cases of those taxpayers are selected for audit, who file their returns of Income Tax and Sales Tax voluntarily; referring such cases to third party for audit shall be introduction or opening of another (third party) avenue towards corruption. Additional cost of which will have to be borne by the taxpayers, who are already on tax role and paying their taxes voluntarily. It will also increase the cost of doing business, which will lead to increase in inflation.

That, the decision taken by the Federal Board of Revenue will also give a negative message to the general public that either the field formation of Federal Board of Revenue is not trustworthy or incompetent. Federal Board of Revenue should also take the lesson from its past decision/experience when the same idea was failed badly.

That, this decision for referring the audit to third parties will also be conflict of interest as most of the audit firms appearing on the panel of the Federal Board of Revenue are also engaged in tax practice.

It will not be out of place to mention here that instead of squeezing the tax payer who are already on tax role the Federal Board of Revenue should focus on the recovery of due tax from 25 million persons who admittedly are earning millions of rupees but contributing nothing to national exchequer.

Had the serious efforts to broaden the tax base been made by the Federal Board of Revenue. There was no need to promulgate the Finance Supplementary Act, 2022, which will adversely affect the financial position of general public and increase the cost of living of common men, those are already suffering due the pandemic and will further increase the inflation in the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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