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CBR to conduct last three years' sales tax, FED refund audit

ISLAMABAD (November 25 2006): The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has decided to conduct audit of sales tax refund and federal excise duty (FED) rebate to exporters during last three financial years.

Sources told this correspondent on Friday that the Board has decided to carry out audit of refund/rebate based on the information to be provided by the Collectorates of Sales Tax and Federal Excise.

The CBR Audit Wing has issued instructions to the field formations to submit complete refund related data of each and every case during last three years. Sources said that the sales tax field audit had been temporarily suspended till the completion of national audit plan. But the biggest exercise of verification of refunds issued in the past would be started following receipt of data from the collectorates. When asked about audit of income tax refunds, sources said that the exercise would also cover income tax refunds issued during the period under review.

About the parameters of sales tax audit, they said that post-refund audit would be conducted within the provisions of Sales Tax Act, 1990. However, the Board would also examine commodity-wise refund issued to different sectors, but no specific amount of claim has yet been decided as parameter for conducting the audit.

Sources said that the Board has already launched a massive exercise to dispose of 42,000 pending sales tax claims involving over Rs 13 billion. The CBR has issued instructions to the collectors of sales tax that the claims were pending due to verification or other reasons.

The Board has given the deadline of December 31 to clear all pending claims and process refund applications filed by commercial exporters immediately on merit. Instructions have been issued to the collectors of sales tax for verification of supplier and 'chain audit' of suspected claims, sources added.

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