ISLAMABADD: Haroon Akhtar Khan, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Revenue said that FBR will facilitate taxpayers and focus on non-filers by enhancing taxes on them to improve the tax revenue of the country. He said FBR was determined to bring businesses into documentation and difference in tax rates for filers and non-filers would be further enhanced to push non-filers towards the formal sector. He visited ICCI along with Tariq Mahmood Pasha Chairman FBR, Khawaja Tanvir Ahmad Member (IR Ops), Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Member (IR Policy), Muhammad Zahid Member (Customs), Shaukat Ali DG I & I Customs and Shad Muhammad DG I&I IR. Zahid Latif President, Nasir Mirza Senior Vice President and Khalid Farooq Qazi Vice President, Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry were also present at the occasion.
Haroon Akhtar said FBR was connecting with NADRA and provincial authorities to promote documentation. He said government was also working on many tax reforms to provide friendly environment to taxpayers. He said a simplified and one-page tax form would be developed for taxpayers of certain sectors. He said excluding agriculture, tax-to-GDP ratio has increased up to 14% to 15% and added that FBR was likely to get over 1.4 million filers this year. He said that audit process would be streamlined to facilitate taxpayers. He said Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee would be further refined for quick resolution of tax disputes. He assured that the proposals of business community would be given due consideration while finalizing coming year budget.
Tariq Mahmood Pasha, Chairman FBR said that FBR had zero-tolerance for misbehavior and harassment creation on the part of tax collectors against any taxpayer as maintaining the respect of taxpayers was high on its priorities. He assured that no raid would be conducted against any business premises without solid information. He said FBR has created three exclusive zones, one each at Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad to broaden the tax base. He said that from February onwards, taxpayers would fill the tax returns offline and submit them online. This arrangement would keep the server less busy and facilitate taxpayers in timely filing of returns. He said FBR paid 156% more sales tax refunds last quarter and would further expedite disposal of verified refunds. He said he had open door policy and assured that genuine complaints of taxpayers would be addressed.
Speaking at the Sheikh Amir Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry highlighted the tax related key issues of business community. He said tax incentives should be given to the local industry to promote imports substitution and GST should be reduced to single digit level to bring down cost of doing business. He said that 4.5% WHT on individuals having turnover of Rs.50 million or more should be revised, raids on business premises under Sec-38 and Sec-40B be stopped and RD on raw material of industry be withdrawn to facilitate the growth of manufacturing activities. He stressed that taxpayers should be given at least 5-year exemption from next audit.
Zahid Latif, President, RCCI said that FBR should take business community on board in policy making process to achieve win-win results. Muhammad Naveed Senior Vice President, Nisar Mirza Vice President ICCI, Khalid Javed, Abdul Rauf, Tariq Sadiq, Ejaz Abbasi, Ch. Waheed ud Din, Nadeem Mansoor, Khalid Chaudhry and others also spoke at the occasion and highlighted various tax issues of business community for redress.