The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has a system to check past logs for identifying all tax officials who accessed the income tax returns and wealth statements from the FBR’s Integrated Tax Management System (ITMS).
Sources told ProPakistani on condition of anonymity that the Chief Manager of Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL) can easily run the query and check the names of officers who have accessed the income tax returns and wealth statements. The past logs are saved in the FBR system which cannot be removed by the tax officers who accessed the FBR system.
With one click of the concerned PRAL official, the system can give names of all officials, who used the system to access the returns of the taxpayers.
The officials having the rank of Additional Commissioners and above can access the income tax returns and wealth statements of taxpayers falling under their respective jurisdiction.
The tax officials of Hyderabad cannot access income tax returns and wealth statements of taxpayers falling within the jurisdiction of Rawalpindi. Similarly, tax officials of Karachi cannot access income tax returns and wealth statements of taxpayers falling within the jurisdiction of Lahore. The officials can only access the returns of taxpayers under their respective zones/units.
In the FBR Headquarters, FBR Member Inland Revenue Operations and FBR Member IT can access the income tax returns when needed. Similarly, FBR Chief Operations and a few other relevant officials can access the income tax returns but other Members cannot access the taxpayer’s returns.
The leakage of confidential information of the taxpayer is punishable up to imprisonment for committing the said offense, the sources added.
Dar takes notice of data leak
Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar ordered a probe against the leakage of tax data of the Army Chief and his family.
The minister directed the SAPM on Revenue Tariq Pasha to personally lead an immediate investigation into the violation of tax law and breach of FBR data, affix responsibility, and submit a report within twenty-four hours.