Income Tax Ordinance

Chapter XX

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163. Statements, returns, etc. to be confidential.

CHAPTER XX
PROTECTION OF INFORMATION

163. Statements, returns, etc. to be confidential.- 

(1) Save as provided in this section,  all  particulars  or  information  contained  in  the  following  shall  be confidential and shall not be disclosed, namely:-


(a)  any  statement  made,  return  furnished  or  accounts  or  documents produced under the provisions of this Ordinance;
(b) any evidence given, or affidavit or deposition made, in the course of any proceedings under this Ordinance other than proceedings under Chapter XXI ;
(c)  any  record  of  any  assessment  proceedings  or  any  proceeding relating to the recovery of demand under this Ordinance.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Evidence Act, 1872 (I of 1872) or any other law for the time being in force, no Court or other authority shall, save as provided in this Ordinance, be competent to require any public servant to  produce  before  it  any  return,  accounts  or  documents  contained  in,  or forming a part of, the records relating to  any proceeding under this Ordinance or to give evidence before it in respect thereof.
(3) The prohibition under sub-section (1) shall not apply to the disclosure of-

(a)  any  particulars,  or  in  respect  of  any  statement,  return,  accounts, documents, evidence, affidavit or deposition required for the purposes of  prosecution  of  an  offence  under  this  Ordinance,  the  Penal  Code (XLV of 1860), or the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 (VII of 1947);
(b) any particulars or information which is necessary for the purposes of  this  Ordinance  to  any  person  acting  in  the  execution  of  this Ordinance, or of any particulars to any person being an expert whose services have been placed at the disposal of the Government by any international organisation of which Bangladesh is a member;
(c) any particulars or information which is occasioned by the lawful employment  under  this  Ordinance  of  any  process  for  the  service  of any notice or the recovery of any demand;

(d)  any  particulars  of  the  amount  due  from  an  assessee  under  this Ordinance  by  the  Board  or  any  officer  authorised  by  it,  or  by  the Commissioner, to any department of the Government, local authority, bank,  corporation  or  other  organization  for  the  purpose  of  the recovery of any demand;
(e) any  particulars  to  a  Civil  Court  in  any  suit  which  relates to any matter  arising  out  of  any  proceeding  under  this  Ordinance  and  to which Government is a party;


(f)  any  particulars  to  the  Comptroller  and  Auditor-General  of Bangladesh for the purpose of enabling him to discharge his functions under the Constitution;


(g)  any  particulars  to  any  officer  appointed  by  the  Comptroller  and Auditor-  General  of  Bangladesh  or  the  Board  for  the  purpose  of auditing tax receipts or refunds;


(h)  any  particulars  relevant  to  any  inquiry  into  the  conduct  of  any official of the income tax department to any person appointed to hold such inquiry or to a Public Service Commission established under the Constitution  when  exercising  its  functions  in  relation  to  any  matter arising out of any such inquiry;


(i) any particulars relevant to any inquiry into a charge of misconduct in  connection  with  income  tax  proceedings  against  a  lawyer,  a chartered  accountant  or  a  cost  and  management  accountant  to  any authority empowered to take disciplinary action against such lawyer, chartered accountant or cost and management accountant;
(j)  any  particulars  by  a  public  servant  where  the  disclosure  is occasioned  by  the  lawful  exercise  by  him  of  the  powers  under  the Stamp Act, 1899 (II of 1899), to impound an insufficiently stamped document;


(k)  any  facts  to  an  authorised  officer  of  the  Government  of  any country  outside  Bangladesh  with  which  the  Government  of  the People's  Republic  of  Bangladesh  has  entered  into  an  agreement  for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion where such disclosure is required under the terms of the agreement;

(l)  any  such  facts  to  any  officer  to  the  Government  as  may  be necessary  for  the  purpose  of  enabling  the  Government  to  levy  or realise any tax imposed by it;

1[(m)  any  such  facts  to  any  authority  exercising  power  under   the Excise and Salt Act, 1944 (I of 1944), the Gift-tax Act, 1963 (XIV of 1963),  দানকর আইন 1990 (১৯৯০ সনের ২২ নং আইন, the Wealth-tax  Act, 1963 (XV of 1963), the Customs Act, 1969 (IV of 1969), the Sales tax  Ordinance,  1982,  (XVIII  of  1982) 2[,মূল্য সংয়োজন কর আইন, ১৯৯১(১৯৯১সনের ২২ নং আইন ) or মূল্য সংয়োজন কর ও সম্পরূক শুল্ক  আইন, ২০১২ (২০১২ সনের ৪৭নং আইন)] as  may  be  necessary  for  the  purpose  of enabling it duly to exercise such powers;]


(n)  so  much  of  any  such  particulars,  to  the  appropriate  authority  as may be necessary to establish whether a person has or has not  been assessed to income tax in any particular year or years, where, under the  provisions  of  any  law  for  the  time  being  in  force,  such  fact  is required to be established;


(o)  any  such  particulars  to  the  Bangladesh  Bank  as  are  required  by that  Bank  to  enable  it  to  discharge  its  functions  under  the  foreign exchange  control  laws  or  to  compile  financial  statistics  of international investments and balance of payments;


(p)  any  such  information  as  may  be  required  by  any  officer  or department  of  the  Government  for  the  purpose  of  investigation  into the conduct and affairs of a public servant;

3[(PP)any such information as may be required for the purpose of investigation relating to money laundering and terrorist financing if the information is requested by the authority responsible for giving approval to a prosecution relating to money laundering and terrorist financing;]

(q) any such particulars as may be required by any order made under section 19(2) of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 (VII of 1947) 4[; or


(r) a list of highest tax-payers in accordance with rules made in this behalf ] 5[;


(s) the particulars of any assessee mentioned in the certificate issued under  section  184B  to  any  person  or authority  mentioned  in  subsection  (1)  of  section  184A  for  the  purpose  of  verifying  the authenticity  of  the  twelve-digit  Taxpayer‘s  Identification  Number (TIN).]

(4) Nothing in this  section shall apply to the production by a public servant before a Court of any document, declaration or affidavit filed, or the record of any statement or deposition made in a proceeding under section 90 or 111, or to the giving of evidence by a public servant in respect thereof.


(5) Any person to whom any information is communicated under this section, and  any  person  or  employee  under  his  control,  shall  in  respect  of  that information,  be  subject  to  the  same  rights,  privileges,  obligations  and
liabilities  as  if  he  were  a  public  servant  and  all  the  provisions  of  this Ordinance shall, so far as may be, apply accordingly.


(6) This section shall not be construed as prohibiting the voluntary disclosure of any particulars referred to in sub-section (1) by the person by whom the statement  was  made,  return  furnished,  accounts  or  documents  produced,evidence given or affidavit or deposition made, as the case may be.

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1Subs. by F.A. 1999

2Added by F.A. 2017

3Added by F.A. 2016
4Ins. by F.A. 1994
5Ins. by F.A. 2014