ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has declined to share tax payment data of Politically-Exposed Persons (PEPs) with the Pakistan Information Commission (PIC).
The data in question pertains to high-level public officials serving in BPS-17 to BS-22 and includes information on Capital Value Tax (CVT), Super Tax, and Section 7E (Tax on deemed income).
This refusal by the FBR is based on their interpretation of Section 216 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001. Tax lawyer Waheed Shahzad Butt filed an appeal with the PIC, accusing the FBR of attempting to hide important information. In response, the PIC has summoned the Secretary of FBR to explain the agency’s stance on not providing the tax payment details of high-level public officials, their spouses, children, or beneficial owners as it relates to CVT under Section 8(2)(b) of the Finance Act, 2022, and Section 4C (Super tax) & Section 7E (tax on deemed income) of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.
Advocate Waheed Butt requested access to this information under the Right of Access to Information Act, 2017 (RTI). The prolonged silence from the FBR regarding this request has raised concerns about the effectiveness of the RTI law, as it seems tax authorities are using it to withhold even basic tax-related information. Waheed Butt sought a detailed breakdown of the total payments made by PEPs, including Members of National/Provincial assemblies, the Senate, the President of Pakistan, Federal Ministers, Judges of High Courts and the Supreme Court, all Federal/Provincial Ombudspersons, the Chief Election Commissioner and ECP members, and the Chairman NAB, etc.