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PR Short Notes


Photo Source: Dawn

Pakistan Reader# 418, 23 November 2022

FBR traces identities of COAS Bajwa's tax leak scandal



How does the enquiry affect the breach in data leaking?

Joel Jacob

On 22 November, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has traced the identities of the people who had leaked the tax records of COAS family members. This was in accordance with the government ordering an investigation on 21 November. Dar said the people behind the leak were from Lahore and Rawalpindi. He stated that there was a possibility that some of the individuals involved may have the authorization to look at the income tax records as there was a “circle” in Rawalpindi where assessments took place. According to a statement issued by the Finance Ministry, Dar has taken serious notice of the illegal and unwarranted leakage of tax information of the family members of COAS and has issued an immediate investigation into the tax law violation He said, “This is clearly violative of the complete confidentiality of tax information that the law provides.”

Under Section 216 of the Income Tax Ordinance, the FBR and its concerned officials are responsible to protect the confidentiality of the information provided by a taxpayer in discharging the lawful obligation. He stressed that the law doesn’t give permission to leak the record of income tax returns of anyone, whether it was the army chief or a common man, without court orders. He had also instructed Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Revenue Tariq Mehmood Pasha to personally lead an immediate investigation into the breach of FBR data, and submit a report within 24 hours. (“Identities of those behind the leak of COAS Bajwa’s family’s tax records traced: Dar,” Dawn, 23 November 2022; “Inquiry into Bajwa family tax record leak ordered,” The Express Tribune, 23 November 2022)

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