New Ordinance in offing to super empower FBR
The current caretaker government is contemplating the implementation of an ordinance aimed at compelling all federal and provincial institutions and departments to regularly synchronize their data. The objective behind this initiative is to identify potential new and under-filers within the tax system.
However, the government's recent discovery highlights a significant issue: approximately 126 departments and institutions at both federal and provincial levels have not been sharing their data with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in the desired format. This lack of data sharing poses a substantial challenge in converting this information into taxable assets.
In pursuit of a broader tax base and the comprehensive capture of financial transactions, the government is evaluating the possibility of enacting this ordinance. The FBR has identified those departments that have been irregular in their data sharing practices, prompting the need for a Presidential Ordinance to mandate data sharing across all departments.
The caretaker government, it seems, is maintaining a cautious approach to avoid stirring controversy around this issue.
To facilitate this data integration effort, the Ministry of Information Technology will collaborate with the FBR in developing an integrated data portal, connecting it with various other departments.
However, it's worth noting that the FBR will encounter a formidable challenge in converting this data into taxable assets, as past endeavors in this regard have proven futile. Caretaker Minister for Finance, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, has directed the FBR to intensify its efforts in expanding the tax base, emphasizing field visits over relying solely on office-based correspondence, as reported by an official present at the meeting.