New audit framework to be introduced from Oct 1

ISLAMABAD: In a bid to meet one of the conditions – improving performance standards – put forth by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the $6 billion bailout package for Pakistan, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to introduce a new audit framework from October 1.

The FBR has accorded formal approval to the draft of the new audit framework. It is expected that the framework would be introduced from October 1.

It is also being said that if parliament’s approval is required, the draft would be presented before it.

On the other hand, FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi announced introducing audit framework from October 1.

“The new audit framework will be taxpayer friendly, simple and easy,” tweeted the FBR chairman. “The objective of the new audit framework is to facilitate the taxpayers.”

Zaidi said the framework would bring about major changes to the tax culture as well as become an example for others to follow, adding that personal interaction would be at its minimum in the new audit framework.

FBR sources said one of the conditions of the IMF for the bailout package was improving performance standards regarding audit. “Introducing a new audit framework is a major achievement towards meeting the conditions of the IMF.”

The FBR was taking steps to increase tax collection and expand tax net.

For this purpose, the FBR started geo-tracking in which data of every business centre was being obtained through satellite. “This process will determine the exact number of taxpayers in the market and how much tax each one can pay,” said Azhar. “All businesses can be brought into the tax net easily through this process.”

Azhar said whole record of income tax and sales tax payers would be available through geo-tracking. He said FBR devised an app for the taxpayers which would prove beneficial for them. “Once they login, they can learn about their assets and other data in their returns for the next year,” said Azhar. To a question, he said not a single government had ever been able to achieve the revenue targets and the target the incumbent government had set was realistic.

He said there was a proposal for fixed tax for businesspersons. “This will facilitate them,” he added. “The shopkeepers will pay fixed tax based on their business volume. There will be no requirement for giving identity cards nor an audit. This scheme has been introduced for the benefit of the traders and its implementation will be beneficial for both the country and the traders.”

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