National Board of Revenue

National Board of Revenue (NBR) is the apex body for the revenue collection and management on behalf of the government's Ministry of Finance. The revenue collected by the National Board of Revenue is the principal source of domestic resources for the implementation of the national budget. It is also the catalyst for scheming, planning and monitoring in achieving economic self-reliance. It wields influence on industrialisation, trade and commerce and investment climate of the country. The roles, jurisdiction and main functions of the board of revenue include: (1) imposition, examination, monitoring and collection of direct and indirect taxes; (2) formulation of laws, rules, regulations on collection of direct and indirect taxes, and providing clarifications and explanations regarding their application; (3) monitoring and controlling the activities of organisations engaged in collecting import and export duties, value added tax, supplementary duties, excise and income taxes in a knowledge-based, just and customer-friendly environment; (4) providing assistance in the formulation process of tax policy and laws, signing of general cooperation agreements with international organisations and foreign countries, agreements on grants and loans and tax-related agreements; (5) fixing the jurisdiction and conditions for waiver and exemption of direct and indirect taxes; (6) voluntary expansion of the coverage of tax-payers and revenue collection through motivation campaigns, and conducting data collection and intelligence activities for proper fixation of taxes; (7) curbing tax evasion and smuggling, implementation of import-export policies, preservation and flourishing of domestic industries and formulating official policies with the goal of attracting foreign investments.

The NBR was established in 1972 through the Presidential Order No 76 (The National Board of Revenue Order, 1972) after repealing the Central Revenue Board Act 1924 (Act No 4 of 1924). Later, amendments were made to the structure of the NBR through Act No 12 of 2009. The NBR is constituted with 1 chairman and 8 members, including 4 for direct tax and 4 for indirect tax. The secretary of internal resources division is the ex-officio chairman of NBR. The status of members is equivalent to that of additional secretary. The total number of departments/directorates under the NBR is 45. Offices related to direct tax total 25; of these, those involved in collection of direct taxes number 18. The remaining offices include 5 involved in the appeal process, 1 training academy, 1 engaged in inspection and 1 in survey work. The number of offices involved in collection of indirect taxes total 20. Of these, 14 are engaged in collection of indirect tax revenue. The remaining offices include 1 involved in the appeal process, 1 engaged in intelligence and investigation work, 1 in inspection, 1 in tax exemption and refund, 1 training institute and 1 engaged in valuation of commodities.

The offices under the customs wing of the NBR imposes duties on all import and export commodities of the country, applies relevant laws and regulations, determines processes, and monitors and implements those. Although collection of revenue is the main responsibility, these offices are also involved in trade liberalisation and facilitation including application of various legal provisions. These activities are carried out through 4 customs houses, 1 bond commissionerate, 1 customs-intelligence and investigation department, 1 duty valuation and internal inspection commissionerate and 28 effective land customs stations at various places of the country. On the other hand, there are 2 departments, 8 VAT commissionerates, and 30 departmental and 112 circle offices under the Value Added Tax (VAT) wing. The areas of work of the VAT wing include establishment of a modern, tax-payer friendly, accountable and dynamic revenue administration, enhancing revenue from domestic sources and playing an effective role in industrialisation and expansion of trade and commerce. There are 18 tax regions, 5 appellate tax regions and 2 departments under the direct tax or income tax wing of NBR. There are a total of 303 circles under the 18 tax regions. The main responsibility of the income tax wing is to contribute towards maintaining social balance by reducing income disparity and extending assistance to industries and commerce by ensuring proper application of the income tax law.

Besides, the Central Intelligence Cell (CIC) works directly under the supervision of the chairman of NBR. It collects information about tax-payers through intelligence work; gathers information related to value added tax (VAT) and customs duties; undertakes data collection and investigation on evasion of duties and taxes; analyses records of income tax payers; identifies tax evasion, suppression of income and other crimes in accordance with the income tax law; undertakes investigation on tax evasion, suppression of income, any other irregularities and fraudulence related to income tax; gathers evidences-proofs, elicits fines and takes legal actions if required. The research and statistics wing of NBR collects information related to revenue income from the field offices and ensures their proper ordering, coordination and record keeping. [Mohammad Abdul Mazid]