The Inland Revenue Department had received 4,831 return cheques worth of Rs.2.4 billion (2,488,003,615 rupees) as of June 30, out of which 3,817 cheques were more than 3 years old, it was revealed during a recent Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) hearing.
It has also been revealed that the value of those three-year-old cheques is Rs.1,429,356,750.
This was disclosed when the Inland Revenue Department was summoned before COPA on the day before yesterday (28) under the Chairmanship of MP Kabir Hashim to review the progress of implementing recommendations given by COPA held on March 24, 2021 and look into whether the Department is capable of achieving the tax revenue proposed in the 2023 Budget.
The committee questioned the lack of legal action in this regard and the officers present stated that their department does not have the authority to take legal action. The Chairman of COPA pointed out that this is a criminal offence and the necessary legal proceedings in this regard should be implemented soon.
The Chairman of the COPA recommended that a report be given to the Committee within a month regarding the legal action taken in this regard after consultation with the Attorney General’s Department.
The COPA revealed that the total arrears of taxes, penalties and interest due to the Inland Revenue Department as at June 30, 2022 is Rs. 773,957,856,618 (Rs.773 billion).
It was disclosed that an amount of Rs. 201,400,855,198 (Rs.201 billion) has been identified as income that can be collected without any legal concern and that Rs. 572,557,001,420 (Rs.572 billion) has been identified as income that has been temporarily suspended due to certain reasons.
It was also pointed out by the Auditor General that this amount has been identified as the total arrears of tax to be collected under both the RAMIS and Legacy systems. Furthermore, there was a long discussion about the failure to collect 201 billion rupees which is available as revenue from this tax arrears.
Accordingly, the present officials pointed out that recovery of this money on an installment basis has already started.