The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to look into the matter of record tampering and devise foolproof Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in consultation with the National Response Centre for Cyber Crimes Wing, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to stop the misuse of passwords by both departmental officials and hackers.
FTO has given these recommendations after hearing the complaint lodged by a taxpayer from Regional Tax Office Sargodha against hacking of his ID. The complainant alleged that the income tax return for the year 2015 was filed by some unknown person.
The FTO has directed FBR to look into the act of tampering and investigate the matter through a high-powered committee comprising of cybercrime experts.
The FTO also directed FBR to enforce strict confidentiality of passwords assigned to field officers for the purpose of accessing taxpayer’s electronic records.
According to the complainant, on 11th May 2020, someone filed 181-form of registration for modification. On the next day, i.e. 12th May 2020, notice for the Tax Year 2015 was issued on allegedly forged documents.
According to FTO’s findings, the illegal access of the complainant’s login password by an unknown person shows that the department remained unable to ensure the integrity of the complainant’s personal login password. FTO added that this lapse is tantamount to maladministration.
It is pertinent to mention here that in another case of RTO Sargodha, a similar crime has been probed by the IT wing of FBR. A departmental official has been identified as the mastermind behind the hacking, findings of the case say.