KARACHI: Federal Tax Ombudsman Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera has said that resolving the tax matters of exporters shall be a service to the nation, on all important matters input of exporters who are earning valuable foreign exchange for the country which is much needed to narrow the trade deficit.
Addressing the prominent personalities in PHMA office, FTO said that declining trend in overall exports in last 4 years, is clear manifestation that we are not on the right direction due to which our exports fell from USD 25 billion in the year 2013 to $ 20.45 billion in 2017. If exporters are not strengthened, the exports will not increase.
He said that our Tax to GDP ratio is lower than even African countries while the neighboring countries, Tax to GDP ratio is much higher. Taxpayers have no trust on tax system and this trust deficit needs to be narrowed. The Audit Notices issued by FBR are creating troubles for the taxpayers who have to divert their energies towards responding to these notices instead of focusing on export matters and added that FTO office will take every step in accordance with law to facilitate exporters by resolving their genuine tax related issues.
Regarding Withholding Tax, FTO said that it is the easiest tool to collect advance tax and instead of this, FBR should improve its tax collection system and broaden the tax net instead of squeezing the existing taxpayers. On a query regarding Further Tax, the FTO assured to take up the matter from his platform.
On the matter of pending applications of Zero-rating of utilities, the FTO said that it is unfortunate that genuine exporters having good profile & history with FBR also suffer which is due to inefficiency of the system. The FTO office will also extend help to exporters if the Recovery Notices are not received by them but amounts deducted from their bank accounts.
Approx. 2,000 complaints are submitted to FTO office annually. Informal complaints are not included in this which we try to resolve through correspondence.
Prominent among those who attended the meeting included Chairman PHMA Tariq Munir, Vice Chairman PHMA Khizer Mehboob, Chairman PAKSEA Kamran Chandna, former Chairman PCFA Khawaja Usman and other leading exporters alongwith others in the event.
Federal Tax Ombudsman Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera was accompanied by Manzoor Hussain Qureshi, Advisor (Incharge), income tax / sales tax and Shahid Ahmed, Advisor Customs/Implementation and Abid Mehmood Director Admin during a visit to PHMA.