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Taxation
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will approve the Audit Policy-2018 pertaining to Tax Year 2017 by applying universal parameters for general population of taxpayers and risk-based sector specific parameters for different sectors including educational institutions, construction industry/builders, textile, sugar, iron and steel and oil and gas exploration companies. Sources told Business Recorder that the FBR has chalked out the Audit Policy-2018 and methodology for selection of cases for audit including directors of companies. The approval of the new audit policy 2018 would be obtained from the concerned authorities. The FBR will use two types of methods for selection of cases for audit. Firstly, risk-based sector specific parameters may be applied by the FBR for selection of companies in specific sectors. This time, sector specific parameters would be applied for different sectors and industries. Secondly, the FBR will approve application of universal parameters for general population of taxpayers including Association of Persons and individuals. The main policy for the audit under Audit Policy-2018 would be selection of high-risk cases having revenue potential.

Last year, the Audit Policy-2017 was prepared on similar lines to ensure sustainability of the risk based audit selection by the FBR. The purpose of such audit was to create deterrence against non-compliance with tax Laws through systematic examination & inspection of accounting record of the taxpayer.
The FBR may share selected points of audit policy-2018 for the general public (not parameters) after its approval from the competent authority. Under the draft Audit Policy-2018, the FBR has analyzed 17 sectors for audit including telecom, textiles, oil marketing, paint manufacturers, beverages, cement, banks, sugar, tobacco, iron and steel, airlines, paper and paper board, educational institutions, poultry feed, oil refinery, oil and gas exploration, builders and construction sector.

Within the category of sales tax, the FBR will only pick high risk cases for audit this year. In case of Association of Persons (AoPs), the universal parameters for general population would be applicable as chalked out by the FBR. Within the category of individuals, risk-based parameters would be applied following approval of the tax authorities.

The FBR will also specify exclusions (income tax, sales tax and federal excise duty) under relevant rules which pertain to cases where selection for audit by the Board is not required for the year. Under last year’s audit policy, the FBR had conducted computer ballot on parametric basis for selection of 7.5 percent cases for audit out of the total filers, after exclusions of certain categories, from income tax, sales tax and Federal Excise Duty (FED) returns.

Sources said the FBR may reduce the percentage of audit selection cases to go for high-risk cases involving substantial amount of revenue under new audit policy for 2018.

Last year, Board had selected 44,868 cases of income tax, sales tax and federal excise duty for audit through computer balloting on the basis of certain parameters and computer ballot was conducted in  respect of six categories, i.e. corporate cases of Income Tax, Sales Tax and FED & Non-corporate case of Income Tax, Sales Tax and FED. Resultantly the cases were selected for audit for Tax Year 2016. The cases were selected for audit in respect of six categories i.e. Income Tax (Corporate) 1,499; Income Tax (Non-Corporate) 34,515; Sales Tax (Corporate) 1,274; Sales Tax (Non-Corporate) 7,532; Federal Excise Duty (Corporate) 28 and Federal Excise Duty (non-Corporate) 20 cases.

Last year, the Board had decided that in order to provide ease and facilitate the tax payers case of a tax payer once selected for audit though ballot was not selected for audit for next (consecutive) two tax years under section 214C of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001, under section 72B of the Sales Tax Act 1990 and 42B of the Federal Excise Act 2005 respectively.
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