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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue’s automated database (FBR’s e-portal) has no direct electronic linkage with the biggest government withholding agent i.e. Accountant General Pakistan Revenues (AGPR), which monthly deducts income tax on gross salary of government employees.

Sources told Business Recorder that the FBR’s e-portal is not integrated with government’s withholding agents, reflecting serious issues in verification of tax deducted at source specially of government employees. In case of tax deducted from salaried class, the total amount stood at Rs 264 billion in 2022-23.

Sources informed that there are serious issues involving lack of integration of FBR’s database with government withholding agents including semi-autonomous government entities and government departments.

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At present, the FBR’s database is not integrated with many withholding agents. Meaning thereby, that there is an inadequacy of taxpayers’ verification of tax deducted at source by various withholding agents. This is perhaps the most glaring impediment in the way of enforcement of income tax refund related provision i.e. section 170A of the Income Tax Ordinance,2001 which is basically an enabling provision of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.

For instance, in the case of any government servant, the tax deducted under section 149 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 by the Accountant General Pakistan Revenues (AGPR) on gross salary every month is not available or visible in the FBR’s e-portal. The government servant has to manually feed in its tax deducted while e-filing annual income tax return.

Similarly, the tax deducted by other withholding agents such as Power Distribution Companies (Discos), Excise & Taxation departments, educational institutes, travel agents, airlines, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL), telephone/ internet service providers, semi-autonomous government entities, government departments etc is not visible in the FBR’s database.

In order to overcome these issues, there has to be IT automation in said-referred withholding agents which will then enable integration with the FBR’s already automated database, sources added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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Maqbool May 29, 2024 11:36am
This is a persistent problem, heavily blocked by FBR and AGPR . About time that hopefully the money deducted from salaries will go to the right heading and into government exchequer
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