ISLAMABAD, Jun 04 (APP):The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Thursday rebutted a news story published in a section of press on Wednesday, claiming a rift between the tax authorities of the United Kingdom and Pakistan.

The board clarified that it enjoyed very cordial relations with its UK counterpart, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the cooperation between both the tax authorities was commendable.

The HMRC is currently in discussions with FBR on the details of a new programme of support and has all along been very forthcoming in assisting Pakistan in tax related matters including its program Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB), said an FBR press release here.

It said that the elements presented in the news article published in Express Tribune about the FBR and HMRC partnership were potentially misleading; adding that both the organizations had been working together since 2014 and this partnership had grown stronger over the years.

Starting from a small capacity building programme, the support was expanded to international taxes including access to technical expertise from the TIWB and World Customs Organisation.

The TIWB is an initiative undertaken by FBR in collaboration with HMRC and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for capacity building of FBR officers in the area of transfer pricing in line with the changing global demands.

It said that the last TIWB mission visited Pakistan in October, 2019 while the subsequent visit has been suspended due to COVID -19 pandemic and not due to any legal or administrative hurdles.

Remote assistance during this time is being undertaken, the statement said. Furthermore, considering effectiveness of TIWB, a program expansion is also possible on the request by Pakistan.

HMRC has not communicated any suspension of its cooperation. Common Reporting Standards (CRS) and Country by Country Report (CbCR) are two independent line of actions adopted by Pakistan under the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance.

Countries who are signatory to this convention undertake automatic exchange of information, it said adding that Pakistan had been an active member of this Convention and the automatic exchanges to and from Pakistan were smoothly underway.