Karachi: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is currently making arrangements to obtain and utilise information regarding financial transactions in banks, according to news sources. Reportedly, the banks will provide this data on a real-time basis, which can then be used by the government authority to identify instances of black economy and tax evasion.
This development has stemmed from Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan’s instructions to ensure that the required amendments to the banking laws are implemented soon. A Regional Tax Office (RTO)-II official confirmed the news, and stated that the FBR might start receiving financial data from the banks within the upcoming year.
He further revealed that the PM had instructed the Law and Justice Ministry, along with the State Bank of Pakistan, to ensure that the real-time transactions information being provided by the banks remains secure with the tax authority. This amendment regarding information sharing was incorporated into the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 via the Finance Act 2013.
The Section-165 A of the ordinance, which was introduced six years ago, also made it mandatory for banks to reveal the details of the transactions of account holders. Under this ruling, the latter are obliged to provide all requested information to the FBR regarding account holders who withdraw PKR 50,000 per day and over PKR 1 million per month; those who deposit PKR 10 million in a month; those who pay PKR 250,000 per month in credit card bills; and those who receive profit on debt in excess of PKR 500,000 per annum.
The FBR is presently in talks with the banks to resolve any reservations that they might have, and, in addition, the suggested amendments to the law will also be finalised by the year’s end.