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AGP detects over Rs275b irregularities in FBR’s tax collection

AGP detects over Rs275b irregularities in FBR’s tax collection

ISLAMABAD: The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has unearthed irregularities in the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) Inland Revenue tax collection worth over Rs275.55 billion.

The audit report for 2016-17, identified cases of non/short assessment of taxes, grant of incorrect exemptions, wrong adjustment of brought-forward losses, non-levy of default surcharge, non-recovery of adjudged revenue, inadmissible adjustment of input tax, incorrect sanction of refund.

The report includes audit observations in respect of compliance with authority, audit of receipts and expenditure relating to Inland Revenue 2014-15 and 2015-16 audited between Jan-Nov 2016 as well as systemic deficiencies.

The revenue loss was reported at Rs1.30 billion due to likely fraudulent and collusive non-deduction of withholding tax on contractual receipts. In a departmental audit meeting, FBR tried to twist the issue but could not provide justification as to why it could not recover the amount involved despite lapse of about a year.

The report noted that income tax amount of Rs245.59m was not deposited into the government exchequer and an amount of Rs855.3m stood as loss of revenue due to concealment of income.

The report identified non-recovery of adjudged dues/arrears of Rs55.74 billion. The audit recommendations suggested expediting recovery and pursuing sub-judice cases at an appropriate level.

An amount of over Rs4 billion loss was reported due to non-implementation of statutory provision resulting in inadmissible adjustment of input tax; another amount of Rs2.18 billion due to inadmissible adjustment of input tax against exempt supplies and Rs2.34 billion was not realised from retailers.

In two other cases, the non/short realisation of sales tax caused a revenue loss of Rs5 billion. Non-registration of taxpayers in sales tax regime resulted in potential loss of sales tax amount of Rs1.615 billion. The non-realisation of further tax, and extra tax due to non-implementation of statutory provisions.

In the income tax department, the non-levy of minimum tax on income caused a loss of Rs1.45 billion due to weak internal control.

The loss of revenue due to concealment of income or assets was reported at Rs16.09 billion. The audit department not only recommends collecting the revenue but also fixing responsibility against the persons at fault.

The short levy of tax of Rs3.28 billion was reported due to issuance of SRO without approval of the parliament. In another case, short levy of super tax amounted to Rs6.24 billion was reported during the year under review. The super tax was imposed for the rehabilitation of temporarily displaced persons.

Under various cases, a loss of Rs3.29 billion revenue was reported due to non-apportionment of expenses between final and normal tax regime; Rs2.08 billion due to non-levy of default surcharge on payment after due date, Rs1.94 billion due to short deduction of withholding tax on supplies and contracts.

The audit report reveals loss of tax amounted to Rs7.35 billion due to incorrect adjustment of brought forward losses, Rs6.02 billion due to short levy of tax due to inadmissible depreciation allowance on fixed assets, and a loss of Rs27.47 billion due to non-levy of tax on contract receipts.

Under further irregularities, the department placed non-recovery of tax demand of Rs10.68 billion, another Rs4.56 billion short levy of tax due to incorrect computation of taxable income.