ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has taken many practical initiatives to facilitate taxpayers, promote friendly tax culture and help broaden the tax base.
For broadening of the tax base, the board initiated use of third-party data with an aim to incorporate 300,000 new taxpayers in three years, source said adding that in this regard, more than 465,000 notices were issued by June, 2016.
Elimination of SRO Culture in order to ensure level playing field for all taxpayers was another considerable initiative taken by the board. The board withdrew SROs/concessions during last three years worth of more than Rs290 billion.
For curbing the transactions and holding of property in the name of others to avoid proper incidence of tax, the board introduced Benami Transaction Law and The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, was passed by National Assembly and Senate.
The law would help enable the authorities to curb transactions and holding of property in the name of others to avoid proper incidence of tax, the sources added. The FBR has also developed comprehensive mechanism for tax refunds and introduced queue management for refund claims (first in first out) both at field formations and FBR headquarters level. The system facilitates transmission of refund cheques into claimants bank account.
In addition, it also took administrative measures like posting of suitable officers in refund sections to plug the leakages in the process of sanctioning of refund claims. The FBR also reintroduced an audit plan to accompany the self-assessment scheme and to overcome weak tax compliance.
Substantial progress has been achieved for infrastructure up-gradation and development with the introduction of fully automated and Integrated Tax Management System (Iris), which is available to all the field formations.
Anti-smuggling powers have been entrusted to Pakistan Coast Guards and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency to check the smuggling of contraband goods. Similarly, the Political Administration in Tribal areas has also been entrusted with anti-smuggling powers.
Pakistan has signed an agreement with Afghanistan (Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement). The importers as well as the carrier of Afghan cargo have to submit bank guarantees which are released only on verification that the goods have reached Afghanistan and were not pilfered inside Pakistan.
FBR has chalked out a comprehensive anti-smuggling strategy to effectively curb the menace of smuggling.
In this regard available resources have been pooled for optimal use under the supervision of Directorate General of Intelligence & Investigation FBR.
Choke points have been strengthened, in coordination with other Law Enforcement Agencies to check smuggling. Moreover, new check points are also being identified. The board also introduced whistleblowers, a drive in order to trace tax evaders. Under this initiative FBR may sanction reward to whistleblowers or informers in cases of concealment or evasion of Income Tax, Sales Tax, or Federal Excise.