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Federal Board on Revenue (FBR) has clarified a news item captioned "No record of ruling elite's tax history with FBR" and published in a section of the press.
In the news report, it has been stated that the correspondent tried to locate tax record of certain taxpayers in Federal Board of Revenue (HQ) Library and at Directorate General of Training & Research at Lahore but the tax record was not available at either place.
It is clarified that the taxpayers’ record is not kept at either at the FBR Library or Directorate General of Training & Research at Lahore. The taxpayers record is maintained at the records rooms of concerned Regional Tax Offices / Large Taxpayers’ Units or in FBR database.
Moreover, Section 216 of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 grants confidentiality to the taxpayer record and prohibits its disclosure. There are very specific circumstances listed in section 216 where taxpayers’ record can be disclosed. It was through specific permission granted by the Federal Government under Sub-sections (5) and (6) of Section 216 that the Parliamentarians’ Tax Directory and Taxpayers’ Directory of all the taxpayers were published by the Federal Board of Revenue.
In view of the above legal position it is not possible for any officer of FBR to disclose the contents of the record of taxpayers to any person not authorized such access by section 216 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.