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Customs Appraisement West detects duty/taxes evasions in 1,738 goods declaration cases

Customs Appraisement West detects duty/taxes evasions in 1,738 goods declaration cases

KARACHI: Collector Customs Collectorate Appraisement West Dr Fareed Iqbal Qureshi has detected evasion of duty and taxes in 1,783 goods declarations cleared by the officials without any proper verification, Customs Today has learnt.

In this regard, Additional Collector-III Saadia Sheeraz has forwarded a letter to deputy collectors of the Customs Groups I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, Appraisement West and Customs House Karachi informing about negligence of the staff who allowed goods declarations at such a large scale without proper verification.

“The record of the past clearances of this collectorate, especially the goods declarations — where concessionary regime of sales tax was availed — has been scrutinized to uncover revenue loss due to extending inadmissible exemptions. The exercise has revealed that for the month of August 2016, sales tax exemptions of Rs 10 million were granted in 45 goods declarations under SRO 1125(I)/2011 dated 31.12.2011 which were not admissible otherwise,” says the letter available exclusively to Customs Today.

“Besides this, 747 goods declarations have been shortlisted where sales tax exemption under SRO 1125 has been granted without any verification of the status of the importer and the nature of his business activities. Such goods declarations need thorough scrutiny to unveil the factual position,” it added.

“The situation is even worse in July when 67 goods declarations have been pointed out involving an amount of Rs 20 million where exemption of sales tax under SRO 1125(I)/2011 has been wrongly extended and in 883 goods declarations sales tax exemption has been allowed without scrutiny of documents. This revenue loss on account of inadmissible exemption is alarming”, the letter further said.

The respective groups are hereby directed to effect recovery of the short levied amount immediately without further delay. The clearances made while availing the concessionary duty/taxes under different SROs are required to be carefully audited. The summarized position July-August shows that in many cases the concessionary claimed rates are granted without any verification.

This is a serious phenomenon which warrants proper audits and also reflects poor supervision and slackness of the concerned deputy collector. The deputy collectors are advised to devise an effective mechanism for post release verification/audits and share the outcome with their supervisory officers on daily basis. In order to complete this exercise in a meaningful manner, the deputy collectors are directed to enforce recovery immediately and strictly supervise the exemption regime for future clearances. Progress report will be acquired from them on the issue on weekly basis.