The government has decided to build a large data warehouse to support big data analysis and the integration of taxpayer databases.
According to a report prepared by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the FBR intends to upgrade its Information Technology (IT) systems, including a high-capacity data warehouse to support big data analysis and database integration, as well as the replacement of end-of-life equipment in the FBR’s data centers.
According to the report, the FBR needs to modernize its information and computer technology infrastructure in order to carry out its reform initiatives by utilizing cutting-edge technologies in its data centers.
According to the report, the FBR is committed to implementing its ICT vision of becoming a modern, fully automated, and data-driven organization with integrated systems that are not only internally connected but also nationally connected with all organizations (public and private) that can assist in detecting tax fraud.
In Pakistan, FBR has three main data-related centers: the FBR headquarters data centre, the PRAL office in Islamabad, and the Disaster Recovery office in Karachi. In addition to data centres, ICT equipment will be provided to more than 35 FBR regional offices across Pakistan.
Regional offices include regional taxation offices as well as Pakistan Customs. The offices are currently in the process of identifying ICT equipment requirements while continuing to use existing systems.
During stakeholder consultations, it was brought to the attention of stakeholders that dismantled equipment at such offices would be reused at sub-offices. As a result, the amount of E-waste generated will be minimal and will be estimated at the time of dismantling.
The FBR’s main IT systems—the Inland Revenue Information System for income tax, the Sales Tax Real-time Invoice Verification (STRIVE) system for General Sales Tax (GST), and the Web Based One Custom (WeBOC) system for Customs—have automated some business processes, such as the filing of tax returns and goods declarations (GDs).
However, these systems do not share data and lack critical features such as tracking tax arrears or a transit module (WeBOC).
As a result, FBR requires the ICT infrastructure and technical skills to integrate and analyses big data while maintaining adequate data security.
ICT investments in simplified and automated business processes will increase efficiency by enabling paperless administration, real-time communication with FBR field offices, and e-services for taxpayers. The project will help the FBR implement its long-term transformation roadmap.
The project’s solutions are based on the ‘low rate-broad base’ principle, which states that a sustainable increase in revenues is achieved by broadening the tax base and increasing compliance, rather than imposing new taxes or raising tax rates.
The project’s main goal is to simplify and strengthen tax and customs administration.
The project interventions will provide the FBR with the ICT tools and technical skills necessary to make effective use of taxpayer information, including big data techniques and modern risk-based tools for more efficient, targeted compliance control.
The project also includes ICT tools and electronic scanning equipment for the FBR’s taxpayer and trade facilitation initiatives.
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